In something of a blast from the past, two former Treasury secretaries from different parties who dealt with radically different circumstances agree the U.S. probably will avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.
The alternative, Henry Paulson and Robert Rubin agreed, is dire consequences for a country already battered by financial crisis, according to CNBC’s coverage of the “Delivering Alpha” conference it sponsored with Institutional Investor last week.
Paulson (left), who served under President George W. Bush, was Treasury secretary during the 2008 economic crisis, the country’s worst since the Great Depression. Rubin, who enjoyed popularity during the economic expansion under the Clinton presidency, has since seen his reputation sour on accusations from certain quarters he helped foster the “easy money” bubble that eventually burst.
Paulson said Congress at some point will avoid the “worst-case scenario” by addressing the deficit reduction.
“The question is, do you do it before the crisis or after the crisis?” Paulson said. “A crisis sure does focus minds. There’s some evidence to indicate that it takes a crisis to get a difficult thing done. There’s some reason for optimism right now.”
Rubin said policy solutions would be elusive for what essentially is a political crisis, the network reports.