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Beats building a shed

When we last saw Neel Kashkari, he was building a shed out in the woods somewhere. But before that, he was managing the TARP program. And after this? Pimco! Felix Salmon comments:

It looks like Neel Kashkari did manage to get that financial-services job by year-end after all: he’s moving to Newport Beach and joining Pimco as a managing director in charge of “new investment initiatives” (which seems to mean, at least in the first instance, equities). You can be sure he’ll be earning substantially more there than he would have been making had he simply stayed in “Information Technology Security Investment Banking”, whatever that might be, at Goldman Sachs.

Pimco seems to be establishing itself as a key part of the revolving-door structure in contemporary finance: if you’re a senior government bureaucrat making decisions affecting the financial industry, there’s a good chance that if and when you leave there’ll be a job waiting for you in sunny southern California. It’s win-win for everybody: technocrats will tend to treat the financial industry with kid gloves when they’re in power, so as to maximize their chances of getting a good job upon their exit, while the likes of Pimco “make billions” as a result of doing so.

By Ezra Klein  |  December 8, 2009; 7:02 AM ET
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I've never met Kashkari, and know almost nothing about him. However, Kashkari was a VP at Goldman Sachs. That's a pretty good job. And he wasn't tapped for TARP because he's a lightweight.

There's not one ounce of evidence in Salmon's post that Kashkari has done anything wrong, will actively leverage his government experience, etc. Just a few snide, irrelevant asides. If you're going to condemn someone for cashing in, you've got to put a few relevant facts on the table.

Shoddy work, not worth quoting.

Posted by: ostap666 | December 8, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

he has to have a job somewhere. the only alternative to a revolving door is no political appointees. A career civil service serves this nation well. But elections must have consequences. This means the door must revolve. Most political appointees work hard - very hard. They revolve because they burn out. They deserve our thanks, not our scorn.

Posted by: jamescriner | December 8, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

It's not a win-win for the public when public servants are doing their job with an eye toward a big private industry payday.

I don't know whether that was the case here, but it certainly happens far too often.

Posted by: bmull | December 8, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Yea, it's a win-win for "everybody." Everybody who's anybody, right? These guys are crooks. I'm starting to think that we need to raise a ruling class in this country. What I mean by that is a group of people whose interests are restricted to education and government. These people would not be allowed to switch over to work for companies they "regulate" to collect on a quid pro quo.

Of course this is probably more extreme than is necessary. But what else can we create that doesn't get gamed by these groups?

Posted by: bcbulger | December 8, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

*Kashkari was a VP at Goldman Sachs. *

Everyone who sticks around an investment bank for ~7+ years and gets an MBA becomes a "vice president." It's a standard title that means you didn't get fired or burn out after a few years of service. By the time you show up for your 10 year college reunion, everyone you know who went into IBanking and stuck with it should be a "vice president".

Posted by: constans | December 8, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

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