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This probably won't be long enough to actually qualify as a diary, but I wanted to start some discussion about the next Secretary of the Treasury.  As you may know Tim Geitner is not expected to continue in the office in a second Obama administration.  One of the names being mentioned is Erskine Bowles, of the infamous Catfood Commission.

This should be completely unacceptable to progressives.  We clearly need to do two things.

First, we need a DailyKos campaign to make it clear to the Obama Administration that a nomination Bowles is DOA in the Senate.  With all the newly-elected progressive senators, there is clearly a blocking minority in the Democratic caucus.

Second, we need an alternative candidate who embodies progressive values.  I would ask my fellow progressives to consider Brad Delong.  He is a Professor of Economics at UC Berkeley.  He and Paul Krugman have campaigned tirelessly since the economic crisis for progressive Keynesian responses to the economic crisis.  (BTW Paul Krugman would be a great Sec Tres, but is definitely not interested in the job.)

Brad is also a strong Democrat.  This is, as with many others, mostly a response to the growing irrationality of the Republican party.  In addition, he has the credentials expected of someone in a Cabinet position.  He has both a BA and PhD from Harvard.  He has prior sub-Cabinet experience in the Clinton Administration.  He is a friend and protege of Larry Summers.  In fact, he and Summers have a recent paper pointing out that stimulus spending will do more to reduce the deficit than austerity.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    Reporting from Tea Bagger occupied America

    by DrJohnB on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 10:28:59 AM PST

  •  I like DeLong (6+ / 0-)

    but there's no way he'd every be confirmed.

    Can you just imagine Republicans reading his blog entries in a confirmation hearing?

  •  Thank You! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I know that Erskine Bowles is a bad choice. But I'm not really familiar with other options that would be a good choice for the position apart from Krugman. I really hope that this campaign begins, and we can get Brad into this position.

  •  We need a choice all Kossacks can rally around (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DrJohnB, filkertom


  •  DeLong would be a good choice, if we can't have (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DrJohnB, NotGeorgeWill, filkertom

    Krugman. Delong's blog is here.

  •  Elliot Spitzer . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Spitzer, sadly, probably has no chance post escort scandal, or at least this administration isn't going to risk a fight over his selection.  However, in a world where competency came before personal failings, he would be a superb choice.  He understands how big finance operates in practice, he doesn't shy away from big fights, and just as importantly he has experience running bureaucracies.  

    This is where I think the Delong selection falls into some difficulty.  I love his blog, obviously he'll have a great grasp of the policy issues, but I don't see anything in his professional training that would prepare him for overseeing an agency with several thousand employees.  He seems more like the kind of person who would sit on the Council of Economic Advisers.

    His comments on his blog though, would probably do as much damage to his nomination prospects as Spitzer's personal infidelity -- especially considering that Delong holds nothing back.

    I haven't really thought through the issue, but I would tend more towards a guy like Spitzer.  Perhaps Eric Schneiderman.  You want someone who understands finance thoroughly, but you also want someone who has some bureaucratic management experience.

    I couldn't agree more though about Erskine Bowles.  What a disaster he would be as a selection.  I hope that Obama has actually learned some of those lessons from the first term.  He might as well pick Bob Rubin, of Citi Fail, if he's going to throw in the towel like that.

    •  Spitzer a non-starter as you note. (0+ / 0-)

      Perhaps a return of the Daley who was Chief of Staff, he has banking credentials and would be less bad (marginally) than Bowles.

      Reporting from Tea Bagger occupied America

      by DrJohnB on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:02:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not a big fan of Daley . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think he would be just as bad as Geithner.  Better to have someone in place who views economic policy through an intellectual framework that is less Big Finance-centric.

        The only upshot of Daley is that he would breeze through confirmation, at least on the GOP side.  I just don't think he would be a very strong advocate for sensible regulation and enforcement of Big Finance, which is part of the reason that the GOP would find his nomination acceptable.

        One outside of the box selection might be Jon Huntsman.  During the campaign he was on the right-side of the Too Big to Fail issue.  It may have just been political posturing -- a way to differentiate himself from Romney and other GOP hopefuls.  He also comes at the issue of finance from a point of view that is less oriented towards Big Finance, and more in favor of having finance work in service of the rest of the economy.  He would also probably meet the threshold for confirmation.  I would have some reservations about him based on x-factors, and I am not sold on his commitment to ending Too Big To Fail.  but I think he would still be a better choice to most of the other options.

        Another possibility is Gary Gensler, head of the CFTC.  Gensler is an interesting choice in that he advocated financial de-regulation and has a Wall Street pedigree.  However, after meeting with progressive members of the Senate prior to confirmation, he listened to concerns, and has been one of the stronger advocates in government for more sensible financial regulation.   He would be a quality choice, although his actions as CFTC chair, might create some resistance on the part of GOP Senators to his confirmation to a higher post.  I still wouldn't see him as a complete compromise candidate.  He would be a good selection and a big improvement over Geithner.

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