Is she dim or lying?

Elizabeth Warren:

In the book, I talk about the revolving door and how people work on Wall Street for 20 years, and then take a spin through the revolving door and work in the Treasury Department, and then spin right back to Wall Street. The giant payouts that they give to people to go work in government are just stunning. I mean, millions of dollars. These big corporations! “If you go teach, we got nothing for you. If you want to go build houses for Habitat for Humanity, we’ll give you a firm handshake. If you’ll go work in government, we’ll write you this giant check to go do that.” What is that, except by way of saying, “Remember us, because you’re going to be the one driving the bus, and when you’re driving the bus, keep in mind all the things we care about.”

I’m really pretty sure that corporations don’t pay people lots of money to go and work in government.

I have a feeling they might pay out on a contractual arrangement when someone leaves to go and join government though. In a manner that they don’t if that same person were to go off and be a high school teacher. You know, because the point and purpose of the arrangements is to retain the labour of the person…..but they’ll make an exception for government.

But that’s not quite what she’s saying, is it?

18 thoughts on “Is she dim or lying?”

  1. If government were smaller and meddled less, there’d be less to gain in corrupting it.

    Quite odd that someone from the statist end of the political spectrum would get upset about big government and big business working together.

    What, do they think it’s the wrong kind of fascist in charge at the moment?

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    Yep, dim and stupid. She’s lived all her life steeped in politics and she can’t see what’s going on here.

    A Wall Stree firm is approached by one of its top employees to work in a related field for the a government. During that time they will gain a lot of experience as well as getting to know top policy makers at home and around the world. They might even get on first name terms with the next POTUS.

    At some point they are likely to leave the job and return to Wall Street. Why wouldn’t you bung the a couple of million, to tide them over whilst pointing out what good employers they are and with a message to “give us a call as soon as you’re ready to return”.

    Whereas the the employee who is going to teach is going to lose skills and contacts. Even if it’s only for a few years and you might take them back, you certainly aren’t going to bunt them a few million.

  3. I rather thought it went the other way: Hilary kept on being bunged 6 figure sums to lecture the likes of Goldman Sachs for an hour. But I suppose that is, like, not a problem 🙂

  4. If your employment contract says you can’t go to a competitor for x months/years then being on the regulatory side of things for a period would be a way of staying up to speed, I guess.

    Could Warren be talking about secondments but is too stupid to understand?

  5. The Inimitable Steve

    Pretty sure the US government is riddled with corruption and special favours for Wall St., tech giants, unions, foreign interest lobbies, Big Law, Big Pharma, agribusiness etc.

    But the concept of pre-bribery is retarded. You don’t tip the taxi driver before he starts the car.

    It’s more about campaign contributions, the lobby community, people like Hillary Clinton being handed $250k for making a 20 minute speech to bankers (when she was giving speeches away for free last year, nobody showed up, so maybe they’re Giffen goods), politicians inexplicably being handed millions of dollars on book advances, said books ending up in the bargain bin shortly thereafter, etc.

    Pocahontas herself is a multi-multi-millionaire. Pretty impressive for an academic turned (ahem) public servant.

    Septic Leninspart Bernie Sanders, who didn’t start working till he was 40, is also a wealthy man who flits between three luxury houses when he’s not biddy biddy bumming all day long.

    Funny how that works.

  6. Actually, I think Wall Street works much the same way that the Big Four does… Once the Peter Principle has kicked in for a certain employee, they are guided out the door in a fashion that engenders goodwill between departer and departee.

    Back in the day Coopers & Lybrand was happy to help me secure a position with one of the client base. In fact, it seemed to me at the time that they were a tad too happy to do so.

    Deliriously happy, as a matter of fact.

    Oh well, good will amongst all men and that sort of thing, I guess.

  7. No idea about the guys who go into government and return, but I do know first hand about the guys who come from government. My former company hired a good handful of them.

    They basically pay them top-dollar for 3-4 years and give them jobs with good titles but no real meaning.

    What they then basically do is open doors to contacts in government or other official institutions.

    You might care about the regulation side of things, but that seemed to be less what it was about than people think, because you typically had established direct links with the regulators.

    More often it seemed to be about getting a direct line into what official business was out there. Or if they were household names, getting them to talk to big clients outside of government to play up how connected the firm is.

    Some of them did real work too, but probably only a third of them I guess.

    I suppose they had a value, but in truth I think they were more valuable to the connections and the careers of the executives than they were the firm overall.

  8. One big factor if you leave say Goldman Sachs to work at the Treasury you are ‘forced’ to sell all your Goldman stock, which rather fortunately therefore attracts no capital gains tax…see Paulson et al.

  9. Yes, Timmy, they absolutely do. If you want an economic perspective on it, it’s no different to investing 10+ years of your life to be a doctor or a lawyer.

    Not capitalism, croney capitalism is how it works

  10. Same thing happens in the UK, just done along “agenda” liines rather than money. I’s not any better. its still/always about the money.

  11. In the book, I talk about the revolving door and how people work on Wall Street for 20 years, and then take a spin through the revolving door and work in the Treasury Department, and then spin right back to Wall Street.

    Surely this means that the employee is still working on behalf of the bank while supposedly working for the government? That’s the simplest explanation I can come up with.

    “Here son, go and work for the government for a few years and pull some strings for us. We’ll tide you over until you come back here and tell us all about it.”

  12. Dim or lying? Axiomatically she’s lying. But dim? She was fly enough to wangle herself a job at Harvard by claiming to be an Injun.

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