Remember the days when people described a smart person as a “rocket scientist” and downplayed the intellectual difficulties of a task by saying “it’s not rocket science”?
It seems that Hank Paulson does. The guy he appointed to run the newly created Office of Financial Stability—which will administer the huge bailout fund signed into law last week—is a former rocket scientist. Neel Kashkari, who is only 35 years old, got his start as an aerospace engineer at TRW, where he worked on little things like James Webb Space Telescope for NASA.
After getting an MBA from Wharton, he landed at Goldman Sachs in San Francisco. And then, of course, at the Treasury Department, where he has been one of the main architects of the bailout plan. According to DealJournal, he was one of three guys at Treasury who stayed up until 4 a.m. the day after the House flunked the bailout bill last week.
DealJournal’s Heidi Moore explains that he has a lot in common with Hank Paulson. “Both also are Midwesterners. Kashkari grew up in Stow, Ohio, and earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Paulson was raised in Barrington Hills, Ill. And both sport similar hairstyles– or lack thereof,” Moore writes.
Now he’s the man who runs the world, administering a fund that will be empowered the determine which financial firms live and die and under what terms their survival is permitted. So that’s one job that’s closed off to you.
But it’s not to late to apply for other jobs running the Treasury Department’s TARP. They’re hiring private money managers, and it sounds like it should be possible to get a sweetheart deal if you have the right connections.
The Treasury on Monday also released its guidelines for how it would hire firms to manage asset purchases.
It cited the need to begin the program urgently. Asset managers and other private-sector agents involved in running it may be hired “through other than full and open competition,” the Treasury said in a statement.
The department will post help wanted notices on its Web site and applicants will be reviewed in a two-stage process after they’ve expressed interest.
“Given the urgent need to implement the Troubled Assets Relief Program quickly, the selection process for asset managers may involve extremely short deadlines for submitting information” and attending interviews, Treasury noted.
Asset managers hired to conduct transactions on behalf of the Treasury will be considered financial agents of the United States. That means they will have a fiduciary duty and “responsibility for protecting the interests of the United States.”
Information on the contracts awarded to private-sector firms will be posted online at the Federal Business Opportunities Web site or at the Federal Procurement Data System site.
Still unclear from the guidelines, however, is how – and how much – the asset managers will be paid.