Departures, from Vince Fulco

September 27, 2010 |

 Wondering if the more politically savvy specs could venture some opinions as to the relative flood of departures in the last few months and timing? I've read all sorts of reasons from the left/right and in between varying suggesting the pragmatic to the audacious. Normally I don't pay too much attention but given pols enhanced effects on the markets these days…as Buffalo Springfield sang, "…there's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear…"

I have my own thoughts on this but they border on the less probable and would only exacerbate the tensions in the country.

Rocky Humbert writes:

This doesn't address Vince's question, but one of the more obscure points of the conflict of interest laws waives capital gains taxes on required divestitures for individuals who accept government positions. This provision incentivized certain people (particularly in the Clinton and GW Bush administrations) to leave the private sector and sell large blocks of appreciated stock tax free. The tax savings in some cases were worth millions of dollars. If the capital gains tax rate goes up in January, it would be sensible to expect more people with this tax situation to join the administration and address the noted lack of industry executives.

Scott Brooks comments:

I was unaware of this. Thanks for sharing, Rocky.

But I gotta think that unless you're really really rich, this tax savings will not be as much as the lifetime of earnings one will receive from having held a high level position in the government.

On the other hand, there is that whole analogy of rats and a sinking ship. Of course, if the ship was really sinking, I never understood where the rats were going to go as there isn't a $25,000/speech speaking tour available to members of the non-political rodent community.

On the other hand, I think a lot of these political rodents realize that after after 8 years of pushing towards "statism lite" and nearly 2 years of a full on push towards "statism", they see water level rising below decks coupled with a huge lack of support for their policies on deck, that has metastasized into near outright rebellion……well, with all this going on they are scrambling for the life rafts as fast as they can.

Gary Rogan writes:

Summers is leaving in time for the election because he is very unpopular with the base and while he can still count on a couple of years of consulting engagements, and because of the failure of the stimulus. Romer, the architect of the stimulus and the effect it was supposed to have on unemployment , left to keep whatever little is left her credibility, to be the one to actually take the blame for the failure of the stimulus, and to make room for Goolsbee in time for the election because he is supposed to be much better at explaining away any problems. Orszag lost the debate on the deficit, he argued for taking some steps to bring it down.


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