July 1, 2011; Source: Reuters | Imagine your future Thursday night family hour cable TV line-up. You gather the kids, now what’s your show of choice? Sort of a “Sesame Street” that focuses on Wall Street and the national economy? That was the idea of former Secretary of Treasury Robert Rubin (and former power player at Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs and Citigroup) and former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott.
They pitched the idea to an anonymous billionaire who declined to move on the project. Maybe it would have been a special report or a mini-series rather than a show occupying a regular slot on network or cable TV. But the notion of educating the American public about the basics of the U.S. economy isn’t a bad idea, given how our nation is plummeting toward an apocalyptic national crisis if the U.S. defaults on the national debt in August, according to former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan.
Sign up for our free newsletters
Subscribe to NPQ's newsletters to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.
Maybe educating members of Congress should be the first priority, though. But given how cozy Wall Street seems to be with leaders of both political parties, with any and all occupants of the White House, even after its role in destroying the U.S. economy, we might prefer a show with few or no Wall Street fingerprints on the content — even if the Wall Streeter making the pitch is of the stature of Robert Rubin.—Rick Cohen