November 24, 2008

Citi Never Sleeps; Neither Can Any Of Its Shareholders
12:00 AM

Maybe I'm jealous that Citigroup didn't include The New Republic on the list of publication in which it had placed full-page advertisements telling the public "why now, more than ever, you can be confident that Citi never sleeps."  The I'm looking at now is in Sunday's New York Times.  But I've seen the same ad in a few other newspapers (including my home-town sheet, the Boston Globe).  I assume this is a cross-country effort.  The advertisement is roughly 150 words.  It tells you that it is "using our global presence, knowledge and expertise, along with almost 200 years of experience, to ris

Some Final Backstory On Geithner
12:00 AM

I've tried to lay out the reasons why Obama would want Tim Geithner as his Treasury secretary. Now that the day of the big announcement is here, I figured I'd address the "how" of it, too. My sense is that two Obama transition officials--Michael Froman and, to a lesser extent, Sonal Shah--played important roles. Froman, a friend of Obama's from law school, started off as an economic aide in the Clinton White House, then became a deputy assistant secretary on Treasury's international side around the same time Geithner was promoted to a similar position.

November 22, 2008

The Case For Urgency
12:00 AM

st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } Over the last two weeks, TNR's managing editor Richard Just and TNR's legal affairs editor Jeffrey Rosen have been debating the appropriate lessons to draw from the passage of Proposition 8. Rosen started the argument here, and then they went back and forth here and here. What follows is the final installment.Dear Jeff,Thanks for your response.

Ellen Moran: The Obama-clinton Thaw Continues
12:00 AM

Today Barack Obama announced his White House communications team: Ellen Moran as communications director, Robert Gibbs as press secretary, and Dan Pfeiffer as Moran's deputy. Gibbs and Pfeiffer were core members of Obama's campaign media team, so no shock there. But the name of Moran, a longtime Democratic operative who since 2005 has been executive director of the pro-choice fundraising group Emily's List, comes as a surprise. Unlike the others, she's not a member of Obama's inner circle and played no role in his campaign.

Obama Makes Another Exception For Hillary
12:00 AM

This nugget from today's Times story on Obama and Hillary is interesting: Two advisers to Mrs. Clinton said she was concerned about establishing her role in the administration before agreeing to the job. She wanted assurances that she would have direct access to Mr. Obama and not need to go through a national security adviser, they said.

Hillary And The Ghost Of Albright
12:00 AM

Some interesting context when envisioning Hillary at State. She is extremely close to her husband's last Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. Many reliable accounts ID her as the person who convinced her husband to name Albright to the job in 1997. In 1996 the Times had a very entertaining account of how the two bonded on a  trip to Prague: Under a warm late-afternoon sun, two middle-aged American women in smart pants suits slip out of their Prague hotel and stroll across Old Town Square.

Why The Geithner Pick Is Even Better Than You Think
12:00 AM

A few weeks ago, I wrote a profile of Tim Geithner that explored his relationship with Larry Summers during their eight years together at Treasury in the 1990s. The two men had formed such a productive partnership that I wondered if there were some way of reuniting them under Obama.

November 21, 2008

Sovereign Debt

Less than two months ago, key members of Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s cabinet boasted that the global financial crisis would not affect Argentina. At the Waldorf Astoria in New York on September 25, the president herself reacted bitterly to an American executive who asked about her plans to cope with the looming downturn: “It is you [the US and Europe] who need a Plan B.”   They spoke too soon.

The Barack-roots
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--While the nation's capital obsesses over who will be the next pick for Barack Obama's Cabinet, the president-elect's lieutenants are engaged with what may be a more important long-term issue: What will become of Obama's vast grass-roots network?Electoral campaigns, like circus tents, quickly disappear after the show is over. But Obama is our first community-organizer president, and he sees the way he got elected as being almost as crucial as the fact that he won.

To Do: Somalia
12:00 AM

Somalia, a genuine failed state, ranks alongside Sudan as the world’s most conspicuous candidate for American attention in the early days of Barack Obama’s administration. Last week, capping a series of territorial gains across the country, Islamist insurgents seized the port of Merka, and appeared poised for an offensive against the capital city of Mogadishu 60 miles to the north. Aspiring jihadists, averse to the risks posed in Iraq and Pakistan, are increasingly flocking to Somalia, which is 97 percent Sunni Muslim.