Obama loves inexperienced cronies who lose money. See Timothy Geithner for an example. Lew is the same idiot who didn’t know the Senate budget rules as he tried to blame Republicans for Democrats not passing a budget in 3 years.
White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew has emerged as the frontrunner to be President Barack Obama’s pick for the next Treasury secretary, but some have questioned his credentials.
The New York Times published aglowing biography of the White House chief of staff this weekend in which Lew was presented as a “master of the Washington budget deal” with a “nearly impeccable record.”
The sole blemish in Lew’s long career mentioned by the Times is his work in last summer’s unsuccessful debt ceiling negotiations, which resulted in adowngrade of the country’s long-term credit rating.
“If Mr. Lew gets the Treasury job, the business world will not be unhappy,” wrote the Times, which cited the three years he spent with Citigroup.
However, Lew’s years at Citigroup were riddled with controversy and largely unsuccessful. He was managing director and chief operating officer of Citigroup Alternative Investments, which controversially made millions bybetting against the housing market in 2008.
Despite making millions off the housing market’s collapse, Lew’s unit still reported losses of $509 million in the first quarter of 2008.
Lew received $1.1 million for his work at Citigroup and noted on an Office of Government Ethics form that he was also eligible for “discretionary compensation for 2008 which I will receive prior to assuming the duties” of deputy secretary of state.
Citigroup received $45 billion in TARP bailout funds from the Treasury in 2008. Banks that received bailout money were not permitted to give large bonuses to its executives. Both Lew and State Department spokesmen Robert A. Wood refused to disclose details about the bonus when pressed by the Washington Times.
Lew has also failed to exhibit a strong understanding of finance in public appearances. When asked by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) during his Senate confirmation hearing whether deregulation contributed significantly to the financial collapse, Lew prefaced his response by confessing to a lack of financial expertise.
“I don’t consider myself an expert in some of these aspects of the financial industry,” Lew said.
He followed by qualifying his response as coming from “someone who has generally been familiar with these trends.” He then recommended that the Senator speak to somebody who knows more about the finance industry.
“I would defer to others who are more expert about the industry to try and parse it better than that,” he said.