5th December 2008
Have fretted for weeks about the heroic Obama’s economic appointments. Refuse to go along with the knee-jerk ‘sell-out’ accusations. Was really pleased about Tim Geithner – whom I met when he backed not just Jubilee 2000, but also a battle I fought at the IMF (with Prof. Kunibert Raffer) to draft an international insolvency framework for insolvent countries. Geithner did call it right in a roundabout way in speeches made at the Fed before ‘debtonation day’ (9 Aug 07). But worry about the influence of Robert Rubin (who did not call the crisis at all) and Larry Summers, who as the Herald Tribune noted ‘helped tear down the regulatory walls between banks, brokerages and insurance companies and freed them to trade in unregulated and little-understood derivatives worth trillions of dollars”. And then John Gapper wrote this brilliant piece about Rubin in the Financial Times yesterday: ‘Time to give something back, Bob.‘ Quotes from the piece follow.