Thursday, September 23, 2010

Should Obama appoint a CEO to replace Larry Summers?

No, of course not -- as if a CEO necessarily knows what's good for the economy and has the political and bureaucratic expertise to operate effectively as a key advisor to the president.

Over at Salon, Andrew Leonard makes the case -- a fairly obvious one but one that needs to be made, and repeated -- that "there's no way that appointing a CEO would "allay the business community's doubts about administration policies":

The only way for Obama to "allay" the so-called business community's "doubts" would be to join with Republicans in seeking a repeal of bank and healthcare reform, abandon his efforts to raise taxes on the wealthy, and fire Elizabeth Warren. By the definition currently employed on the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal, anything to the left of Ayn Rand or Jim DeMint is "anti-business." The bleating from Wall Street executives who feel bullied and demonized only proves one thing: Anything less than their total freedom to pursue profit free of all government restraint is utterly unacceptable -- no matter what the consequences for the country at large.

The very notion that Obama is "anti-business" is an absolute charade, cooked up by conservative pundits and fed by financial industry lobbying muscle. It has no connection to on-the-ground reality, and if administration officials think it is one of Obama's problems then they are the worst kind of spineless idiots.

Very well put. Read the whole, aptly-titled piece, "The awesome stupidity of replacing Larry Summers with a CEO."

Along these lines, make sure also to check out Paul Krugman's "No, No, CEO" at the Times. Simply put, the president should pick someone well qualified for the job -- and CEOs, whatever their other talents, just aren't qualified for it.

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