Obama is building an economic dream team around Treasury nominee Tim Geithner that makes use of such marquee talents as Robert Rubin, Paul Volker, Larry Summers, to say nothing of Jason Furman and Austan Goolsbee.
You wanted Best and Brightest with an establishment bent? You got it.
But given that so many of these smartest-guys-in-the-room types have their fingerprints on the current financial crisis, what’s missing is a crusading, ball-busting reformer in the pre-hookergate Elliot Spitzer model.
I buy the argument that you need the kind of insidery A-Team Obama has assembled to try to bring the economy down in something other than a crash landing, and that the time for ballbusting reform is down the line.
My worry, however, is that there’s no one in the room to strike the fear of God into Wall Street execs — to scare them into walking a straighter, narrower line now that taxpayers are on the hook for, oh, three-to-five trillion in bad bets.
With the feds bailing out everyone in sight, we’ve created an off-the-charts moral hazard that could compound this crisis. Who, I want to know, is the guy tasked with looking around the corner and stopping the fat cats before they fuck us again?