My answer to both relates to what I call the Harvard-Goldman filter.
The Harvard-Goldman filter works like this.
1. To get into a position of power, you have to pass through a filter. The easiest way to show that you can pass through the filter is to go to Harvard and then work for Goldman.
2. If you do not go to Harvard and work for Goldman, then you have to show that you can get along with people who did.
3. The best way to show that you can get along with people who pass the Harvard-Goldman filter is to show that you believe in applying the Harvard-Goldman filter.
Why was Tim Geithner regarded as such an obvious, in fact necessary, choice to be Treasury Secretary? Because he satisfies the Harvard-Goldman filter, particularly point (3). He is not going to bring people from the wrong social caste into the policymaking arena.
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