Rahm Emanuel: A Good Wall Street Investment

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in at 11/06/2008 04:40:00 PM
Phew! If I have kept strangely silent on the matter of the US elections, let me explain. Obama's victory has been a foregone conclusion for quite some time now. Thus, instead of weighing how much candidate Obama's (more populist) rhetoric compares to McCain's, the post-election period will better establish how much his talk translates into action. The post before this presents a problem Obama must face right away concerning rather overt rent-seeking behavior, while this post discusses why fears of a commie pinko Obama are wildly overblown.

Readers of the Wall Street Journal editorial pages and similar commentary are doubtlessly familiar with the allegedly Marxist stylings of Barack Obama. Those who share similar concerns will no doubt be comforted that he is reportedly choosing among very business-friendly alternatives to be the next Treasury secretary. Now comes news that Obama is selecting Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, which should set the hearts of financiers leaping for joy. Today's newspaper headlines from New York to New Delhi are filled with Wall Street bets gone bad. Indeed, with the demise of most American broker-dealers, it may be inaccurate to speak of "Wall Street" in the sense it used to be understood. Yet, in the twilight of the securitization era, the world finds itself with an American president on the brink of choosing a chief of staff with strong Wall Street affiliations.

The New York Times offers this caution of sorts:
Mr. Emanuel’s stint in high finance and his experience in the banking world opens him to some criticism of being too allied with Wall Street, not the image Democrats want to cultivate these days. Critics have asserted he was only able to succeed in the banking world because of his political connections. Since he is part of the Daley circle, Mr. Emanuel’s appointment as chief of staff could also create the appearance of a White House that is too Chicago heavy. His manner can also create enemies, and Mr. Emanuel has ruffled the feathers of many on Capitol Hill, particularly black and Hispanic lawmakers.
OpenSecrets adds more detail:
A day after being elected president and acknowledging "the worst financial crisis in a century," Barack Obama asked one of the biggest recipients of Wall Street campaign contributions to be his chief of staff. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the Illinois congressman who was an aide in the Clinton White House, was the top House recipient in the 2008 election cycle of contributions from hedge funds, private equity firms and the larger securities/investment industry--not the most popular of industries in the current economy. Since being elected to Congress in 2002, after working as an investment banker, Emanuel has received more money from individuals and PACs in the securities and investment business than any other industry.
There have been many dud investments by Wall Street, but investing in Rahm Emanuel should still pay dividends in the next administration.