Pimco's Kashkari may get Tarp'd in California

Former Treasury official likely to get raked over the coals for bailout program

Jan 27, 2013 @ 11:05 am

By Deborah Solomon

In 2010, several members of Congress lost their re-election bids as a result of voting for the $700-billion financial bailout.

Now the man who led the Office of Financial Stability in 2008 and 2009, the Treasury official most closely associated with the Troubled Asset Relief Program, is weighing his own run for office. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Neel Kashkari -- better known as the $700-billion man -- is leaving his current position at Pacific Investment Management Co. to explore a political career in California. Kashkari, a Republican who hails from Ohio, hasn't indicated what office he may seek, but some suggest he has his eye on the governor's office -- and he's already created a campaign-style web site.

That Kashkari would entertain a political career may not come as a surprise to those who know him -- he's self-confident, smart (he was once a rocket scientist), and isn't one to shy away from a challenge. He's also taken his share of shellacking on Capitol Hill -- he was famously asked by a lawmaker whether he was a "chump" and was grilled for hours -- all without breaking a sweat (or taking a bathroom break).

Yet California's politics may be tougher than Washington's, and it's unclear how the architect of the much-maligned bailout will fare, particularly as a Republican in a Democratic state. Kashkari realizes TARP was "unpopular," he told the Journal, but defended it as "the best example we have in modern history of Democrats and Republicans coming together to do something controversial but absolutely necessary and absolutely successful."

The experiences of former Senators Robert Bennett of Utah and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, as well as former Representative Robert Inglis of South Carolina -- all of whom lost their seats as a result of their TARP votes -- suggest that Kashkari's perception may be a little warped. Still, you have to give the guy credit for transcending the pure political anger directed toward him to try and improve his adopted home state.

He should just be sure to avoid promising "a bailout in every pot."

--Bloomberg News--

(Deborah Solomon is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board. The opinions expressed are her own.)

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Sponsored financial news

Featured video

Events

How 401(k) advisers can use 'centers of influence' to grow their business

Leveraging relationships with accounting, benefits, and property and casualty insurance firms can help deliver new business leads for retirement plan advisers.

Latest news & opinion

SEC advice rule may give RIAs leg up over broker-dealers

Experts say advisers will be able to point to their role as fiduciaries as a differentiator in the advice market.

Brokers accept proposed SEC rule on who can call themselves an adviser

Some say the rule will clear up investor confusion, but others say the SEC didn't go far enough.

SEC advice rule: Here's what you need to know

We sifted through the nearly 1,000-page proposal and picked out some of the most important points.

Cadaret Grant acquired by private-equity-backed Atria

75-year-old owner Arthur Grant positions the IBD for the 'next 33 years.'

SEC advice rule seeks to tighten reins on brokers

The proposed rule puts new restrictions on brokers, but it is still unclear how strongly the SEC is clamping down.

X

Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print