The Case for Queasiness on the Economy
April 27, 2012
There are two fair conclusions to draw from the recent run of middling economic data, culminating with Friday’s disappointing GDP number. First, contra Mitt Romney, this is not an administration with a failed economic record, at least not as we sit here today. In almost every way—job growth, housing, GDP—Obama has presided over a vast improvement in the economic situation he inherited.
The Big Split
March 14, 2012
In May 2007, when Barack Obama was but an upstart challenger of Hillary Clinton, he attended a gathering of several dozen hedge fund managers hosted by Goldman Sachs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was not a fund-raiser, just a chance for Obama to introduce himself to the investment wizards who had helped turn the hedge fund sector into the most lucrative and alluring corner of the financial universe. And the first question for Obama was as blunt as one would expect from this crowd.
What The Rubinites Didn't Get About 2008
February 29, 2012
In his new book, The Escape Artists, my TNR colleague Noam Scheiber makes the interesting argument that one problem with President Obama's economic team was that, in struggling to pull the U.S. economy out of recession, the Rubinites (i.e., Tim Geithner and Larry Summers) were fighting the last war. What the financial crises of the late 1990s taught Geithner, Summers, and other members of Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin's economic team, Scheiber argues, was to embrace the Powell doctrine. Just as Colin Powell had argued that the U.S.
EXCLUSIVE: The Memo that Larry Summers Didn’t Want Obama to See
February 22, 2012
For the past three years, Washington journalists and politicos have obsessed over a 57-page memo that Barack Obama’s incoming economic team prepared for him in late 2008. The document has achieved such totemic status for good reason: It decisively shaped the Obama administration’s initial response to the economic crisis. The memo outlined the president-elect’s options for dealing with the teetering banks, the cash-strapped automakers, and the country’s tidal wave of foreclosures.
Obama’s Worst Year
February 10, 2012
Shortly after four o’clock on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 13, 2011, U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner walked down the hallway near his office toward a large conference room facing the building’s interior. He was accompanied by a retinue of counselors and aides. When they arrived in the room—known around Treasury simply as “the large”—four people were seated at a long walnut table on the side near the door.
In Praise of Jeremy Stein, Obama's New Fed Board Nominee
December 27, 2011
Just a quick word about Jeremy Stein, the Harvard financial economist Obama is nominating to serve on the Federal Reserve Board. I suspect critics on the left (and perhaps on the right) will seize on the fact that Stein was close to Larry Summers, who brought him into the Obama administration to work at the NEC. For what it’s worth, I actually became pretty familiar with Stein’s track record while researching my forthcoming book on the Obama economic team. I can report that he’s an absolutely terrific choice.
What’s Facebook’s Relationship Status With the GOP? It’s Complicated.
November 16, 2011
Silicon Valley generally leans left of center in its politics, and Facebook, the web’s leading social utility valued at an estimated $85 billion, hasn't often seemed inclined to be an exception. After all, Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s CEO, has himself gone out of his way to make supportive appearances with President Obama.
Washington’s Most Powerful, Least Famous People
October 12, 2011
Welcome to TNR’s 2011 List Issue. In putting the issue together, we had one major priority: to avoid creating a power list featuring anyone who regularly dominates headlines. Instead, we had a different idea: What if we revealed something about D.C. by documenting who quietly wields power? From there, we began to hatch other ideas for lists, and we realized that—while they can certainly be cheap gimmicks—lists can also convey a lot about a city. Below is the first list from the issue: Washington’s most powerful, least famous people.
Why Conservatives Abandoned Monetarism
July 23, 2011
Will Wilkinson asks why conservatives have almost uniformly abandoned Milton Friedman's monetarist views in favor of various hard-money approaches: Mr Friedman died a beloved figure of the free-market right. Yet it does seem that his influence on the subject of his greatest technical competence, monetary theory, immediately and significantly waned after his death.
Does Larry Summers make A Terrible Fundraiser?
June 13, 2011
Carol E. Lee and Jonathan Weisman have a story chronicling the gripes of various donors with President Obama's reelection effort. This seems like one of the less sympathetic but more avoidable complaints: The overtures to donors have not always gone smoothly. At a recent gathering of major donors here, former National Economic Council Director Larry Summers, who headlined a breakout session on the economy, got into an exchange with a donor that resulted in the man walking out of the session, according to people at the event. The donor told Mr.