If Romney was trying to distance himself from being a 1%-er, he’s failing miserably, again. Outside of perhaps Angelo Mozilo or Chuck Prince, it would be a challenge to find a more bizarre candidate to run the US Treasury Department than John Thain, who’s reportedly on Romney’s short list.
While CEO of Merrill Lynch, Thain was busy redecorating with expensive tastes — he spent $1.2m to redecorate his office at Merrill Lynch — and demanding a huge bonus despite the record losses that ultimately brought down the legendary company, then refusing to testify about the obscene bonuses.
If anyone is looking for an example of someone with a sense of entitlement, Thain is your guy. It’s hard to understand how even leaking such a story could be viewed positively for Romney, but few decisions from his team make much sense.
Think Progress has more on the very strange choice.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Mitt Romney’s potential list of nominees for Treasury Secretary includes John Thain, the former CEO of Wall Street investment bank Merrill Lynch who now heads CIT Group. Thain is perhaps best known for overseeing Merrill Lynch as it fell apart during the 2008 financial crisis, necessitating a rescue by Bank of America, and then paying out bonuses to his failed bankers anyway.
On the Obama side, there are rumors being floated that suggest Geithner’s replacement in a second term could be Erskine Bowles. If true, this is seriously bad news and highly disturbing. Bowles is desperate to show how bipartisan he is, including his love affair with Paul Ryan, despite Ryan’s consistent problem with facts and his obsession with destroying Social Security and Medicare.
There is still a concern that Obama is equally eager to strike a Grand Bargain with the GOP over Social Security, should he win in November, and Bowles could be the person to do it. As Krugman says, it would be a bad choice to do this, but there does appear to be increasing momentum in this direction.
Many of us would like to hear in clear language that this is not in the works for Obama’s second term, and that there is no possibility of a “compromise” that will fulfill the GOP dream of destroying Social Security or Medicare.