More stories this week about the delay in Treasury appointments, most notably someone to run the Troubled Assets Relief Program or TARP.
As I noted a couple of weeks ago, a prominent Wall Street executive was approached about the job--I'm now told a number of times--because he was that rare fit. He'd been at a big firm but he left to start his own boutique investment house before the
s**t hit the fan financial troubles last fall and thus wasn't tainted by the most recent problems on Wall Street. He turned Geithner down and so Neel Kashkari, the Bush holdover, continues to hang on.
At this point, something will have to give. Either the administration and Congress and the public will have to accept people coming straight from the tainted financial firms or give the jobs to the Christina Romers of the world, academics who don't have the Wall Street taint and don't consider making less than $200K to be a dramatic lifestyle change.
Academics are fine but it would help to have some financial types in there who know the firms and where the bodies are buried. Lee Sachs, a Clinton veteran remains over there at Treasury, but more ex-Wall Streeters are going to have to come in at some point. Obama bent his lobbying rules to allow Mark Patterson, the former Goldman Sachs lobbyist, to become Geithner's chief of staff. More rule bending is on its way.