U.S. lawmakers are mad and want Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to step in and call China a name — “currency manipulator” — which may not sound like much on city streets but can be quite an insult in world financial circles.
Tales from the Trail
On Friday, President Barack Obama threw down the gauntlet to Republicans on taxes, effectively daring them to vote against a tax cut for the middle classes, just so that they can give an average of $100,000 in tax cuts to millionaires.
from Summit Notebook:
U.S. Senator Jim Bunning asked a Treasury Department official the question other lawmakers had avoided at a banking committee hearing on Wednesday — so, what about that profanity-laced tirade by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner?
Not likely. But Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson might want to dust off his resume because if the Academy of Management is right, he’s probably not going to be getting many fat offers to serve on corporate boards after leaving government in January.With Democrats in control of both Congress and the White House starting Jan. 20, high-ranking Republicans in the outgoing Bush administration will be less marketable for boardrooms positions, according to the association.”If a party is shut out of both congressional houses plus the executive branch, as Republicans will be, its members’ chance of joining the board of a large corporation is about 30 percent less than it would otherwise be,” said Richard Lester of Texas A&M University, who carried out a study for the Academy of Management.Helping Paulson and several of his White House colleagues, though, is that Cabinet members are the most likely among retiring governmental officials to be recruited to serve on corporate boards.”They were more than twice as likely as former senators, and more than five times as likely as former representatives, to be appointed corporate directors during the 16 years covered by the research — 1988 through 2003,” according to the association.Not to pick on Paulson — there are more than a dozen Cabinet members — but he has become one of the highest-profile, most controversial of Bush’s aides for the way he has been handling the $700 billion financial industry bailout.But Paulson’s a survivor. This former Nixon administration official left government the first time around in 1973 (like a lot of his colleagues) and quickly worked his way up the ladder at investment firm Goldman Sachs, finally serving as chairman and CEO when he got his Treasury job.Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (U.S Treasury Secretary Paulson with President Bush outside Treasury Building in Washington)
While White House hopefuls Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama wasted no time trading barbs in their second presidential debate, they agreed on the one man they would like to see running their Treasury Department to help pull the U.S. economy out of a tailspin: investment guru Warren Buffett.
WASHINGTON – Sometimes it’s hard to tell when John McCain is joking.
Take his interview Tuesday with journalists at The Des Moines Register.
The Republican presidential candidate acknowledged the financial bailout measure before Congress was not perfect, but he said it was unacceptable to do nothing and admonished lawmakers for failing to pass a rescue plan.
Then, without cracking a smile or missing a beat, he added this little nugget: “I’m not saying this is the perfect answer. If I were dictator, which I always aspire to be, I would write it … a little bit differently.”
With the Treasury secretary likely to have a huge amount of power under any bailout scheme, McCain was asked what sort of person he was looking for to fill that job. He said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson had been doing admirably.
“I think a person along Paulson’s lines,” McCain said. Given the fragility of Wall Street, he added, any candidate “probably has to have a sound grounding in the financial markets and that aspect of America’s economy.”
The Arizona senator said if elected he would recruit the brightest and the best for his Cabinet, Democrat or Republican, in government or in business.
“I’ll go out and ask them to serve the country for a dollar a year,” he said.
He mused aloud about who might be enticed into government service: billionaire Iowa businessman Warren Buffett, eBay founder Meg Whitman, or Fed-Ex chief Fred Smith.