Today, with unemployment in almost the double digits and foreclosure unabated, President Obama decided that America needed more of the same. The President announced the appointment of JPMorgan Executive William M. Daley as White House Chief of Staff, replacing Rahm Emanuel. Tomorrow, news reports indicate that he will announce that Goldman Sachs adviser Gene B. Sperling will be appointed head of the National Economic Council, replacing Larry Summers.
About Daley the Center for Public Integrity reports:
At JPMorgan, Daley’s portfolio has included supervising government lobbying for a bank with $2 trillion in assets that has fought efforts to limit the size of megabanks. Daley co-chaired a U.S. Chamber of Commerce commission that urged the federal government to revise the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform law and protect corporate auditors from lawsuits and investigations.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Daley at JP Morgan spent $5.8 million in the first nine months of 2010 alone fighting Elizabeth Warren's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other financial reforms. He also made public statements opposing President Obama's health care reform bill. His appointment was praised by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Business Roundtable also hailed Daley, saying it "has a strong relationship with Mr. Daley and has worked with him in the past on many issues important to both business and the broader economy, such as the successful ratification of NAFTA."
About Sperling, Wikipedia tells us:
As director of the NEC. Sperling was a principal negotiator with then-Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers of the Financial Modernization Act of 1999, also known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Gramm-Leach-Bliley repealed large portions of the depression-era Glass-Stegall Act allowing banks, securities firms and insurance companies to merge. President Barack Obama believes that the repeal of Glass-Steagall helped cause the 2007 subprime mortgage financial crisis.
Also in 1999, together with United States Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, Sperling successfully negotiated and concluded the China-World Trade Organization agreement in Beijing, paving the way for China to enter the WTO in 2001. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that 2.4 million U.S. jobs have been lost to China since 2001.
So the chief gate keeper for the President of the United States has been a powerful opponent of the President's agenda, and a NAFTA cheerleader. The chief economic adviser makes a killing advising Goldman, and thinks that offshoring jobs to China will strengthen the U.S. economy.
Experienced hands? Or standard bearers of the status quo? Tell us what you think of these appointments in the comments section of this blog.