Friday, November 14, 2008

The New Treasury Secretary

Does anyone find it at all disconcerting that President-elect Obama has yet to announce his team of economic advisors? Wouldn't that be a good idea? Getting a new Treasury Secretary (and his team) intertwined with Hank Paulson and his crew as soon as possible would seem (to me at least) to be Job One of the Shadow Administration.

But the news out of Chicago is about Sen. Hillary Clinton at the State Department and the Governor of Iowa taking over at Agriculture. Worthy appointments both, I'm sure, but not what everyone needs to know right now.

There is a sense about the President-elect and his advisors (and indeed, the US Congress as a whole) that they simply don't "get" the financial crisis. It's not a subject they really understand. It's not something they want to spend political capital on. They don't seem to see the extraordinary havoc and menace that lies beneath it.

The United States has a large stake in a successful Obama Administration. If the Obama Team does well, the havoc and menace of the financial/economic crisis can be contained. If the Obama Team falters and fails, the havoc and menace will be much, much harder to contain. One way that they can improve their chances of success is by getting an economic advisory team in place and working alongside the Bush team as soon as possible.