Thursday, May 4, 2017

Summers Rips Mnuchin Comments at Milken Conference

The Trump administration continues to make former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers look reasonable.

He writes at The Financial Times on Treasury Secretary Mnuchin's comments at the currently ongoing Milken conference in Beverly Hills:
At Michael Milken’s annual conference for investment professionals he crowed to the bankers present that “you have me to thank for the increases in your stock prices”. I cannot conceive of any of the 11 other secretaries I have known making such a statement. Leave aside the question of whether whatever credit is to be claimed should be done so on behalf of the president. Since when is the stock price of banks the objective or the standard of success for economic policy? And when, as will inevitably occur, bank stock prices decline, will Mr Mnuchin accept the blame?

It was quite a day.

The secretary also doubled down on his surprising statements of last week by predicting that within years the economy will be regularly growing at above 3 per cent...

There will likely come a time when the Treasury secretary will need to invoke his credibility to support confidence in the economy, to stabilise markets, or to mitigate an international crisis. Let’s hope that when that moment comes, Secretary Mnuchin will retain some credibility. This will require an end to days like Monday.

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