Friday, 6 March 2009

Failure is its own reward?

There is at least one piece of good news in troubles that the Obama administration are having with filling some jobs. As the WSJ reports, Annette Nazareth, who was expected to be tapped as deputy Treasury secretary, has withdrawn. Annette was responsible for the consolidated supervised entity program at the SEC that was so successful at supervising the big 5 broker/dealers that one failed, two were sold in conditions of distress (extreme distress in the Bear's case) and two became banks. Why anyone thought that she should be Timmy's deputy is beyond me.

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Blogger J said...

Anette was actually a really good administrator and one of the few strong voices of reason under a commission run by Pitt and then dominated by Glassman and Atkins. You have to consider her service in the context of an SEC that had suffered massive brain drain (its one of a handful of agencies that had not been allowed to pay its attorney staff at industry standard attorney salaries and consequently junior accountants could be paid more than senior lawyers) and whose procedures had essentially reduced the staff's role to responding to the demands of industry. I interned in the Division of Market Regulation several years ago and while there were certainly some talented and perspicacious attorneys writing regulations in that office, the institutional rulemaking procedures imposed by Congress and the Judiciary and the anti-regulatory agenda of the politically appointed commission (the staff can't do anything without the approval of the 5 member commission) kept anything genuinely supervisory from coming to pass.

1:25 pm  
Blogger David Murphy said...

Thank you for the comment, J.

I can see your point, but I still think that someone who was so publically associated with a programme that failed so badly should not be a candidate for high government office. The commission might well have set the tone, but the staff were responsible for implementation, and things like admitting Bear Stearns to the CSE program before the exam was complete do leave a rather nasty taste in the mouth.

7:15 pm  

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