November 20, 2013
Did The Revolving Door Debate Just End With Tim Geithner?
Posted by David Zaring

Longtime readers will know that I have little problem with the revolving door between government and the private sector.  Given that regulators of every stripe have, almost in all cases, gone through that door at some point, it seems a little naive to just indict the thing because it is a thing.  And there are plenty of reasons to believe it has an upside - but you'll have to read this if you want to find them out.

And now that Tim Geithner, the former Treasury Secretary, has joined a pretty obscure, if legendarily named, private equity firm, I'm declaring victory for the pro-door view.  At least in the popular press.  Here's a lintany of influencers: Sorkin, Yglesias, Bloomberg.  All find Geithner's move unproblematic.  And so should you - though you might wonder why you'd take this job instead of becoming chair of the Fed.  If being the second most powerful person in Washington is less appetizing than working for not much money in an obscure corner of private equity, perhaps we are going to have to incentivize public service more than the revolving door already does.

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