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Obama Appoints Trumka to Jobs Commission. WTH?

Should the subtitle be “Better to keep him on the inside and not on the outside throwing rocks”?

or “What a great plan!  Now we’re cookin’, Mr. President! (Sorry; can’t be convincing here.)

Bloomberg’s reporting that this morning Obama appointed Richard Trumka to Jeffrey Imelt’s Jobs and Competetiveness Commission.  Others invited are:

Ellen Kullman, CEO of DuPont Co, John Doerr, a senior partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm; Roger Ferguson, CEO of TIAA-CREF and a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Laura D’Andrea Tyson, a professor of economics at University of California-Berkley and former President Bill Clinton’s economic adviser, Kenneth Chenault, chief executive officer of American Express Co., Richard D. Parsons, chairman of CitiGroup Inc., Antonio Perez, chairman and chief executive of Eastman Kodak Co; Mark Gallogly, managing partner of Centerbridge Partners; Joseph T. Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union; Lewis “Lew” Hay III, chief executive of NextEra Energy Inc.; and Gary Kelly, board chairman of Southwest Airlines.  Named over the past few days are: Paul Otellini, the chief executive officer of Intel Corp., the world’s largest semiconductor maker, and AOL Inc. co-founder Steve Case.

Already serving are:

A.G. Lafley, former board chairman, Procter & Gamble; Monica C. Lozano, publisher and chief executive of La Opinion, the U.S.’s largest Spanish newspaper; Darlene Miller, chief executive of Permac Industries; Penny Pritzker, chairman and chief executive of Pritzker Realty Group; Brian L. Roberts, chief executive of Comcast Corp. and board chairman of NBCUniversal; Matt Rose, chief executive of Burlington Northern Santa Fe; Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook; and Robert Wolf, Chairman of UBS America.

Their first meeting will be tomorrow and will replace Former Fed Chair Paul Volcker’s now-defunct group.  The President said the goals are different now because the economy ‘is in a different place.”

I assume he means that Wall Street is booming, many corporations are reporting record profits, and we are in a jobless recovery, real  unemployment rates at 16% or more, and many are beginning to speak of ‘structural unemployment numbers’ as the new norm.

Where are the economists who might be able to explain why banks are sitting on billions of bucks, or borrowing from the Fed and selling derivatives?  Will there any ideas put forth about a Federal Bank or devising State Banks to loan directly to (actually) small businesses?  Or suggest that the DoJ prosecuting Wall Street Fraud and addressing the lack of consumer confidence would help?

In brighter news, the President of the Kansas City Fed Thomas Koenig said in Washington today that the TBTF Banks should be broken up because of the risk that they pose to the economy.  Thanks, Mr. Koenig.  Many of the smartest economists in the country are metaphorically kissing your feet right now.

So: will Trumka accept?  Am I too cynical here?  Yeah; that ship has probably sailed…I’ll work on it.  But it’s a little funny that it wasn’t until Trumpka got pretty jazzed by the events in Wisconsin and seemed to be feelin’ some real Union-y Oats and finding his voice again.   I heard that he was pretty tickled that all of a sudden college kids have started thinkin’ Unions are cool!

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