Trump’s economic adviser was the chief economist for Bear Stearns… smh…
Did we mention he worked for the investment bank that lit the fuse on the financial meltdown?
On Friday, ahead of a big economic policy speech Trump is expected to deliver next week, the Trump campaign released a list of his economic advisers. The roster of 13 men—all are men and five are named Steven or Stephen—includes a handful of billionaires and financial moguls, several of them longtime Trump friends. Also on Trump’s economic brain trust is an economist, David Malpass, who downplayed concerns about the economy shortly before his firm collapsed and the economy cratered.
Malpass is a former economic adviser to Ronald Reagan whom the Trump campaign touts as having “extensive private sector experience.” That experience includes serving for 15 years as the chief economist for Bear Stearns—the Wall Street firm that was deeply enmeshed in the subprime mortgage market—in the lead-up to the investment bank’s spectacular March 2008 collapse.
The fall of Bear Sterns lit the fuse on the economic crisis. And perhaps more so than its competitors, the 85-year-old investment bank came to exemplify the excesses and short-sighted economics that led to the financial meltdown. If Trump is counting on Malpass for economic advice, he had better hope it’s an improvement on the wisdom the economist dispensed as the financial system hurtled toward a cliff. Nine months before his company fell apart, Malpass wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal titled “Don’t Panic About Credit Markets.” He derided the “hyperventilation over the coming U.S. economic slowdown” and wrote:
The slowdown talk weighing on equities also reflects the Wall Street view that debt, mortgage and takeover businesses have replaced General Motors as the economy’s bellwether. According to the bears: As goes the credit market, so goes the economy. Fortunately, Main Street is not that fickle. Housing and debt markets are not that big a part of the U.S. economy, or of job creation. It’s more likely the economy is sturdy and will grow solidly in coming months, and perhaps years.
So, that was wrong.
Malpass did fine, though. He currently sits on the board of New Mountain Capital, a multi-billion-dollar private investment firm, and runs his own market research firm.