“Get more people in government to believe that they have a fiduciary duty!” exclaimed former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, at the fi360 National Conference in Orlando on May 6. O’Neill remarked about the “9.7% unemployment rate, saying that the rate reflects action taken “when we hit the wall and were on the brink of dissolving ourselves,” by companies, “in the private sector that were…more imaginative” than was typical. They laid off workers, and now that, “we’ve stabilized, if the government doesn’t do another dumb thing, we’ll keep moving and begin to absorb the unemployed.”
He says we are not out of the woods yet, however, that we need a “growth rate of between 5% and 6% to absorb 150,000,” jobs per month that need to be created for the growing American population and to begin “to absorb the unemployed.”
Greece in Crisis
Regarding the crisis in Greece, O’Neill noted that everyone is worried about the PIIGS–Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain, which “also borrowed beyond their capacity to service debt.” Contagion is but one issue; another is spreading the solution to the problem very far afield–saying that the “IMF intervention is about globalizing a solution to this problem,” and adding, “I do not believe the carpenters and plumbers in Chicago should have to help,” Greece get out of their crisis. He argues that there needs to be an orderly way for there to be a “bankruptcy for a nation,” as a way of “dealing with nations who have defaulted.” Otherwise the defaults will just continue to periodically pop up around the globe, according to O’Neill.