Feedback to Obama, and Goolsbee and Rubin

The Obama transition is asking for your ideas on how to deal with the crisis.  You can give them some feedback here:

http://change.gov/page/s/economy

Now on to the other part of my post.  Recently, I was discussing the public records of two economists.  Let me refer now to Austan Goolsbee and Robert Rubin.

Goolsbee is the University of Chicago economist recently appointed by Obama as chief economist and staff director of the president elect’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. Goolsbee will also be a member of the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA), which helps develop the president’s economic policy.

It is in his record, that in a March 29, 2007 New York Times op-ed, right when the subprime crisis was starting to burst, Goolsbee not only denied a crisis was coming, but he also made a forceful argument in defense of subprime mortgage lending.  The practice of subprime mortgage lending, compounded by the securitization of those mortgages, is at the root of the ongoing crisis that Goolsbee is now apparently ready to help resolve.  If we are to believe in Goolsbee’s March 2007 argument, with subrprime credit, the innovative genius of free markets was doing what it typically does — enhance our social welfare.  I searched on Google and couldn’t find any news on whether Goolsbee has changed his views regarding subprime lending.

Regarding Robert Rubin, here’s what New York Times columnist Frank Rich just wrote:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/07/opinion/07rich.html

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