Sunday, January 23, 2011

Immelt Takes Volcker's Spot On Economic Council

President Obama appointed Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, to take the spot open by the departure of Paul Volcker. Immelt will be a top economic adviser. An Executive Order will make it official.

Remember when Barack Obama, along with all the other Democratic opponents, would criticize former President George W. Bush for using Executive Orders? Obama thinks differently now.
Remember when it was en vogue to bash corporate America on the Democratic side; to criticize success in the private sector? Remember all the cries that the Bush administration was bought off by the oil and gas industry or Halliburton or whomever the villain of the month was?

The GE logo is all but the official seal of this administration and yet not a peep from the press about conflicts of interest or red flags.

The Council on Jobs and Competitiveness will replace the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman under President Jimmy Carter, was tapped in February 2009 to serve a two-year term on the board tasked with providing Obama with outside guidance on job growth and spurring economic recovery.

Volcker is a well-respected economist who has been credited with helping to end high inflation in the 1970s and 1980s. He began advising Obama during his presidential campaign in 2008. Obama praised his “skill” and his friendship in a statement announcing his departure.

Volcker grew to realize the board was just a public relations stunt created by Team Obama to give the impression the administration was business-friendly. The irony is, if that were the truth, the board would not have been necessary in the first place. This administration is one that has been completely without members of the business community. There are think tank thinker and academics and career politicians and career public servants galore.

Interesting this - the same day as the big 'we love Jeff' day, a big announcement came from the Interior Department about a mega loan to Arizona for - wait for it - a solar plant! Any coincidence there?

The U.S. Department of Energy is offering another nearly $1 billion loan guarantee for an Arizona solar power plant after providing a $1.45 billion guarantee to a plant planned near Gila Bend.

The new offer is for NRG Solar, which is planning a big power plant in Yuma County called Agua Caliente. The plant would supply Pacific Gas and Electric Co., and be made with panels from Tempe-based First Solar Inc.

Let's not forget that Immelt's skills as a CEO have come under criticism as the stock value of GE has been halved under his guidance.

And, remember this little quote from Immelt as his guy Obama was elected President:

“We are all democrats now.”Jeffrey Immelt GE Chief Executive Officer

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