Reuters blog archive
By Daniel Indiviglio
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
If Barack Obama were the chief executive officer of the United States, an activist investor would have a field day contesting his allocation of capital – political capital, that is. In the CEO analogy, an uppity shareholder would want more focus on the economy, jobs and fiscal challenges.
In both politics and business, leaders have limited resources to produce results. In business, the key investment resource is cash; in government, it has more to do with time. In the White House, hours spent persuading the public or politicians, brokering deals and crafting strategy earn the president more capital, as expenditures should in boosting corporate returns.
In this spirit, Breakingviews tried to pinpoint Obama’s capital allocation by analyzing news, speeches, and Oval Office blog posts. Though unscientific, the results are worth considering. Defense and security issues snagged the most attention, including the Syrian conflict, Afghanistan and Iraq, and leaks by a rogue National Security Agency contractor.