A new Daily Beast column by CNBC’s Charlie Gasparino explains why Robert Rubin hasn’t slept well recently: Citigroup.
Daily Beast: What keeps the former Clinton economic star up at night? Friends blame him for the Citigroup fiasco. And Rubin can’t figure out how he didn’t see it coming.
People who know Robert Rubin say he never thought that it would end this way. In a span of about 10 years, the former Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton pulled off an amazing feat—going from the man who saved the economy to one of those responsible for its demise as a senior executive and board member of the hopelessly troubled banking giant Citigroup.
As Gasparino points out, it’s an amazing about-face for the 70-year-old former Treasury secretary and CEO of Goldman Sachs. Rubin’s 10 years as a Citigroup board member and senior executive didn’t technically include “operating responsibilities,” but he was the financial giant’s most influential adviser.
In that broad, vague role, he pushed for more risk and Citi took it, jumping headlong into toxic real-estate debt. At the same time, the massive “financial supermarket” was poorly managed. But Rubin didn’t see it coming, and has trouble accepting responsibility, according to Gasparino:
“I’ve thought about this a lot,” he told one person, “But I don’t know what I could have done without operating responsibilities.” When pressed if he could have done more, however, Rubin confessed, “In hindsight, there is no question. Everyone should have.”
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