The New York Times floats a list of possible successors to Tim Geithner. My lord, this is horrific:
Among those named by people familiar with administration thinking are Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase; Jeffrey R. Immelt, the chairman of General Electric and of Mr. Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness; Roger Altman, a deputy Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration; and Erskine Bowles, a former White House chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and co-chairman of Mr. Obama’s fiscal commission in 2010.
I think the way to understand this is that Altman wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed in 2009 asserting that "the views of industry often coincide with those of independent voters." The basic premise that Obama's most fundamental error has been to offend business is the key premise of his new chief of staff, Bill Daley. It informs the selection of all the names on the list, who come from finance, not economics. Which is not to say that they don't have some, even many, liberal beliefs. And the notion that Obama has to move to the center out of sheer political expediency is not wrong. But the whole analysis that the center is more or less the view from the boardroom is totally daft. What Obama needs right now is to fill in the gap from the economists who have departed his administration. That list suggests a very different goal.