Both candidates for president have been light on details about their vision for the next four years. We know who Obama’s economic advisors are, so we probably have a pretty good idea about their views on financial issues. But what about Romney?
Romney’s “Go-To Economist” is R. Glenn Hubbard. If his name sounds familiar, that may be because he is the dean of Columbia Business School.
He was also the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers for George W. Bush, and the architect of the Bush tax cuts. Subsequently, he has championed the cause of the mutual fund industry’s approach to charging fees, stating that it was essentially impossible for mutual fund advisers to overcharge on fees because the mutual fund business was so competitive. For his advice, this industry has paid him over $1 million.
He testified for Fidelity in a case where company employees sued for excessive fees to manage their 401(k) plan. He was paid $420,000 for that testimony, but Fidelity lost that case.
He has also worked for the insurance arm of the Investment Company Institute, a lobbying group that paid him $150,000 for an academic paper.
Hubbard co-wrote a recent position paper titled “The Romney Program for Economic Recovery, Growth and Jobs.” In this paper, he favors, reducing federal spending, cutting marginal tax rates 20% across the board, reducing Social Security and Medicare benefits for wealthy seniors, repealing Dodd-Frank financial regulation and repealing the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called “Obamacare.”
While on Bush’s economic advisory team, Hubbard supported reducing divident taxes to zero.
Other consulting/advisory positions held by Hubbard include Freddie Mac, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. In one paper that he co-authored, he opined that “credit derivative(s) have become an important element that helped protect bank lending portfolios against loss.”
As Romney’s likely nominee for Treasury Secretary, Hubbard provides ample evidence of what voters may expect from his economic policies.
As always, I welcome your comments.