Saturday, August 07, 2010

"Taibbi on Romer and Summers"

Matt Taibbi weighs in at his new Rolling Stones blog on the Christina Romer resignation (our own coverage is here). He deals with the Larry Summers angle, as well as the earlier Peter Orszag exit.

It's a good read, well reasoned, with enough insider spec to make you feel you have a window seat, however cloudy. Summers gets a mild half-Taibbi ("Larry Fishface"). A few preview paragraphs from near the end (my empasis):

If you’re on Wall Street, and you’ve seen the stock markets recover and the banks go from virtual insolvency two years ago back to record profit numbers now, then like Summers you’ll think “everybody agrees” that the recession is over.

If however you’re just some schmuck looking for a job somewhere outside the Beltway and/or lower Manhattan, and you’re noticing that the only easy job openings this year were temp gig taking census surveys (and even those have dried up), then your view of things is going to be no way the recession has ended, “of course not.”

In economics as in all other things, it all depends on how you look at things – and if everyone in the Obama White House is looking at things from the same vantage point, that sucks and is dangerous. Not that Christina Romer was a savior by any stretch of the imagination (one source of mine called her “totally mediocre”), but she was at least not completely a Wall Street pod job – she was pretty much the last inner-circle adviser who wasn’t, and now she’s gone, for whatever that’s worth.
"Wall Street pod job" isn't bad either — not a serious wound, but draws definite blood. As I said, a good read.

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