05 April 2008

Three Questions for Senator Clinton

I'm on the list for press releases from the two remaining Presidential candidates in the Democratic Party.

Why am I not on Senator McCain's list, too? Because my presence on any of these lists dates back to last October, when Congress was debating the issue of the taxation of "carried interest" on private equity funds. This is a matter of grave concern for my usual audience, so I contacted the Democratic candidates about it.

There was no "carried interest" story on the Republican side, I assure you.

Anyway: I am on the lists, and on Friday I received an e-mail statement from Hillary Clinton's press office on the new unemployment numbers.

The statement was by-the-book, but I decided: what the hack? why don't I write back. I don't really expect an answer, but I'll share with you the questions:

I'm curious about the matters below that concern: Clinton campaign economic/financial policy. I'd love to have an on-the-record quote from the candidate about these matters.

1. Glass-Steagal. Does Senator Clinton believe, as Senator Obama suggested recently, that the repeal of the Glass-Steagal distinctions between investment and commercial banks was part of the road to our present troubles? If so, did she use her influence within the administration of President Clinton to raise warning flags at the time, or has the problem only subsequently become clear?

2. Yesterday morning, one of the Banking Committee Senators asked Mr. Bernanke: How big does an institution have to be to be 'too big to fail'? I'd appreciate the Senator's views on that. If no institution is too big to fail, then sometimes the right thing for a President to do (invoking the imagery of a certain television ad) would be to let the phone ring, wouldn't it? Why should the CEO of Bear Stearns, or someone in a similar position, expect to be able to reach anybody in the White House at 3 AM?

3. A more minor point, involving personnel issues, but one in which I think our readership will be interested: Would Robert Rubin likely play an important part in the economic/financial policy of a new Clinton administration?

I'd very much appreciate it if you could get back to me on these points. Thanks.

No comments:

Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.