Most ridiculous economics-related story of the week (I know, it’s early yet, but it’s a short week): A New York Post article by Mark DeCambre suggesting JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon as a replacement for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
Yes, Geithner is under fire from legislators from both parties right now, but neither Republicans nor Democrats are likely to be looking for a figure even more deeply embedded in Wall Street than either Geithner or Larry Summers.
JPMorgan Chase has been a prime beneficiary of government bailouts, cheap credit, and the orchestrated devourment of both Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual. The liberal Democrats who are hammering the Obama administration as insufficiently progressive would have a collective seizure if Geithner stepped down, only to be replaced by the CEO of one of the world’s largest financial institutions. Nor would Republicans who have suddenly become populist banker-bashers and defenders of the working man be likely to cheer. The political “optics,” as Washington-watchers like to say, would be simply awful.
The idea is too dumb for words. OK, maybe not as dumb as Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein getting the nod, but still absurd.