Sunday, December 20, 2009

How Does Geithner Fit Into the Harvard-Goldman Filter?

Arnold Kling has a post on what he calls the Harvard-Goldman filter:
The Harvard-Goldman filter works like this.

1. To get into a position of power, you have to pass through a filter. The easiest way to show that you can pass through the filter is to go to Harvard and then work for Goldman.

2. If you do not go to Harvard and work for Goldman, then you have to show that you can get along with people who did.

3. The best way to show that you can get along with people who pass the Harvard-Goldman filter is to show that you believe in applying the Harvard-Goldman filter.
Kling goes on to try an explain how Geithner fits into the equation, since he didn't go to Harvard and has never worked at Goldman:
Why was Tim Geithner regarded as such an obvious, in fact necessary, choice to be Treasury Secretary? Because he satisfies the Harvard-Goldman filter, particularly point (3). He is not going to bring people from the wrong social caste into the policymaking arena.
In other words, he plays the game and knows how to talk code.

Then there is also the curious fact of the relationship between Geithner's father (My guess he is/was a high ranking CIA operative) and Obama'mother.

Kling also recommends a book to learn more about the Harvard-Goldman filter:
The best book to read on the topic of the Harvard-Goldman filter is David Halberstam's Vietnam era opus, The Best and the Brightest. Goldman was not such a big deal then, but Harvard was, and so was Wall Street. What Halberstam shows is that investment bankers certified who was reliable or not--to serve in foreign policy positions.

1 comment:

  1. Wenzel,

    Have you read Chernow's The House of Morgan? The banking/investment banking policy filter function has been active far longer than just since WW2! And I know that will upset a lot of people ("conspiracy monger idiots!") but it's simply a fact... JPM's various partners (when the bank was private) went on to hold all kinds of important govt financial and international diplomacy positions... US-Japan, US-Italy, US-Germany and US-China current relations are much more a result of foundations and business partnerships established during that period (early 1900s) than anything else that has happened since then, I believe.