Failing Upwards
September 20th, 2012

Let me get this straight:

Tim Pawlenty fails at running for president. So he signs on as co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s campaign and starts running for vice president. He fails at getting the veep pick and the campaign he’s co-chairing performs, at best, not-so-hot.

And so, for his fourth gig in 18 months, Pawlenty gets hired as CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable. What does T-Paw know about financial services? Beats me. He worked for a law firm once and was a vp at a software company called Wizmo Inc. Maybe he did really well with his 401(k).

But hey, don’t worry. Free markets are awesome and executive talent is precious and never over-valued.

  1. Evan September 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I think you midly conflate failed candidate with failed executive, but everything else seems pretty spot on. That is to say T-Paw also has a successful record as a candidate (prior to 2011-12) and as a Governor that could be cited, but even then this hire kinda’ stinks.

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  3. Mike September 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Looking at their web page, they’re a lobbying group. Seems like a two-term governor is more or less what they need. It’s not like he’s going to be shot-calling transactions on securitized instruments or pricing derivatives or anything. This is regulatory waste, not the free market. He should send Elizabeth Warren and Richard Cordray flowers.

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  5. Jason O. September 20, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Sometimes I admit that JVL’s brand of conservative economic populism makes me want to MOUNT UP AND RIDE TO THE SOUND OF THE GUNS!!!

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  7. Leviathan fuck yeah September 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Um, it’s an outfit headquartered on friggin’ Pennsylvania Avenue NW. He’s over-qualified if anything. You write as if he were also under consideration for coming on-board to turn around Delta, Time Warner, or the LAUSD.

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  9. t3 September 20, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    This post wrongly and weirdly makes it sound like Pawlenty’s getting a job that he’s not qualified for.

    Pawlenty was a 2-term governor of a big state and was famed for budget management. He has lots of national political connections and is respected and not thought of as a hack or unprincipled.

    How would he not be qualified to head a lobbying group for big banks? Who on earth would be more qualified, when banks are fighting big reputational battles?

    It would be different if he was going to head Citibank. But he’s heading their industry’s lobbying group. What on earth is strange about that?

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  11. Dave September 21, 2012 at 9:55 am

    There is nothing “free market” about the activities of Financial Services Roundtable. What a bizarre post this was.

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  13. Greg September 24, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    T-Paw isn’t being paid for financial expertise, he’s being paid for his political stroke and big name. So, in that regard, he’s not over-valued or over-paid at all. The FSR is paying for political pull, from Democrats or Republicans, that’s what lobbying groups do.

    JVL, I love you bro but this crunchy-con obsession with executive compensation has got to go. Anyone in America earning a paycheck is earning what someone else is willing to pay them. Even in a situation as bereft of market influence as a low-level bureaucrat’s job, that person is being paid by someone with some control over an H.R. budget they have to manage to best accomplish their slow-moving, bureaucratic goals.

    Very simply, anyone working of their own free will is earning “what they deserve.” Why does Albert Pujols make more than 650 school teachers combined ?? Because only 1/650th of the people capable of being a good school teacher (or less) are capable of hitting .300 with 40 home runs and 100 RBI’s.

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  15. Joe Sixpack September 26, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Someone please get Thomas Sowell’s books and get them to JVL stat.