Felix Salmon notes an unseemly epilogue to the story of Neel Kashkari, the Hank Paulson-picked TARP supervisor dubbed “The $700 Billion Man” for his oversight of the bailout funds prior to his spectacular DC burnout.
Having spent months recuperating from the stress of financial crisis-era government work with a retreat to a remote cabin in California, Kashkari is now set to return to business. He is going to work for the investment giant Pimco — a firm significantly affected by Kashkari’s previous work at the Treasury Department.
Salmon highlights the coinciding interests:
Remember too what Kashkari’s job was at Treasury, before Hank Paulson came out with the Plan B of simply buying equity stakes in the banks: he was meant to be putting in place a mechanism to value precisely the kind of complex debt instruments that Pimco considers itself an expert in. In doing so, he doubtless spent a great deal of time with very senior Pimco officials who were probably flattering him daily in an attempt to bring him round to their way of thinking on the matter. It hardly matters whether or not they explicitly said at the time that they’d be interested in hiring him when he left government — Kashkari’s a smart guy, and he knows how the revolving door works.
Whatever Pimco’s planning on paying Kashkari, it’s probably worth it. The only thing more valuable right now than knowing how the revolving door works is knowing how the federal government works. I’d think Kashkari has a pretty good idea.