Erskine Bowles Explains Why It's Not A Conflict To Work For Morgan Stanley And Advise Obama At The Same Time

Photo: State of the Division

Here’s a pickle: Morgan Stanley paid long-time political advisor Erskine Bowles $335,000 this year.And in his most recent political role, Bowles is an adivsor on Obama’s debt-reduction commission (he was also a Chief of Staff in Clinton’s administration, among other roles in the government).

Of course, his recommendations would seem to ultimately have some effect on Morgan Stanley. But are his two roles a conflict of interest? No, says Bowles.

When the director spoke to Bloomberg’s Max Abelson on Monday at an Economic Club of New York meeting about the conflict, he said:

“It doesn’t have any effect on me at all.”

“We tried to gore every ox we could.”

Here are the kinds of things discussed on the committee, which is formally called President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform:

  • Whether or not there should be a higher tax on Wall Street firms
  • Where to cut spending

And here’s his thinking on the debt situation:

“This debt is like a cancer that will truly, over time, destroy this country from within.”

“Some cuts [to research spending are necessary.]”

Click here to see a few of the big names of the many Wall Streeters who have worked with the government >

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