Former treasury secretary Robert Rubin had to pick between admitting incompetence or confessing to corruption this week and instead he declared that knowing Citi Group was out on a dangerous ledge was not his job. Since he was paid 100 million dollars to advise Citi on something, and since he was at one time the CEO of Goldman Sachs (who invented the complex instruments that caused the crash), what was his job?
The only explanation is that Citi was buying inside access to Washington from Rubin - not his wall street expertise. So this week Robert Rubin was telling the world that his job was to ensure that Citi was not regulated. So I believe him when he says it was not his job to know what was on the balance sheet -- it was his job to make sure no one in the government knew either.
Here is a piece from November 2007 with some of the details about the things Rubin was not watching.
Here is a piece from October 2008 where the NY Times looks into the work Rubin did with Alan Greenspan to discredit Brooksley Born, who at the time was running the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and who was advocating greater regulation of derivatives.
We ended up giving Citigroup 45 billion dollars -- so Rubin earned his pay. He got each citizen of our country to give Citigroup $150 in bail out money. His next trick? Maybe his job now is to figure out how not to pay it back!