Thursday, November 17, 2011

Phil Angelides on Bloomberg TV Last Week

Former FCIC chairman Phil Angelides appeared on Bloomberg TV last week one afternoon for a fawning interview during which he was asked to dispense his wisdom on a variety of topics.

What stuck with me was his insistence that the recent nearly-trillion dollar stimulus bill wasn't enough, and more must be spent to create jobs.

There were several other topics on which he was asked to opine. So many that I reasonably thought he must have some broad, long career in business, prior to his California political career. To ascertain that, I found and read Angelides' biography on a Stanford FCIC webpage.

To my disappointment, but, frankly, not surprise, he has a degree from Harvard in 'government' and absolutely no private sector experience. The Wikipedia page offers more detail on Angelides' political life. Suffice to say, he plunged into California Democratic politics upon graduation. Becoming Treasurer opened many more doors, including leading to his stint at CALPERS.

I suppose that career path, coupled with a Democratic Congress in 2008, with a Speaker from California, led to Angelides' chairing the FCIC.

What's curious is that there's nothing in his background to suggest he would actually comprehend all of the complex nuances of the events and actions by many players, including those in government, GSE and the private sector, which led to the boiling over of the crisis three years ago this fall.

Yet, having served on the FCIC, I guess Angelides is viewed as an expert on all things governmentally financial.

Nevermind that California's finances are a mess, and CALPERS has had its share of serious missteps, as well. Both of which you'd like to think would disqualify Angelides from being considered an expert on anything.

Which brings me to Bloomberg's producers. They must know that Angelides is essentially an empty suit. Like many other career politicians having no business experience, he would seem to have no basis on which to answer many of the questions a business cable television channel would ask of him.

But that doesn't stop Bloomberg from interviewing him on topics far afield from Angelides' experience, or the former FCIC chair from launching into lectures on such topics.

It seems to me telling that Bloomberg- and CNBC- focus so much on guests with essentially no business background but, rather, experience as government officials dabbling in business.

As they used to say in Hollywood.....that's entertainment!

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