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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Roubini: Geithner and Summers "Excellent Choices"

by Calculated Risk on 11/25/2008 11:13:00 AM

From a Newsweek interview: Even Dr. Doom Likes Them

NEWSWEEK: What are your thoughts on the team Obama assembled?

Nouriel Roubini: The choices are excellent. Tim Geithner is going to be a pragmatic, thoughtful and great leader for the Treasury. He has experience at the Treasury and the IMF [International Monetary Fund], then the New York Fed. I have great respect for both Geithner as well as Larry Summers. I think both of them in top roles in economics in the administration were good moves. I think very highly of them both.
Roubini adds on his blog:
First, I told the Newsweek reporter – as full disclosure – that I had worked for Tim Geithner and Larry Summers when they were both at Treasury: I was head of a Treasury Office and the Senior Advisor to Tim Geithner in 1999-2000 who was at that time the Under Secretary for International Affairs while Larry Summers was Treasury Secretary. So some may [believe] that my positive views of the two may be biased/tinted by my working for them; on the other hand I know first hand about them and I have the greatest respect for their skills, intelligence, expertise, commitment to sound public policy and policy wisdom even if I may not always agree with all of their views.

Second, I have also to add that ... while I have the greatest respect for the new Obama economic team, they will inherit a huge economic and financial mess that will be extremely hard to fix even if they were to implement the most sound and consistent economic and financial policy package. This is going to be the worst US recession in decades as the strapped US consumer is now faltering. ... What policy can do – at best – is to minimize the financial and economic losses and limit the extent and severity and length of the economic and financial crisis, not to prevent it. President Elect Obama and his top notch team will inherit two wars and the worst economic and financial crisis in decades.