Who is Neel Kashkari? The TARP bailout guy for Bush and Obama. Yeah, that guy. Although he was just the public face of that particular… event. Anyway, he’s got a WaPo profile:
“Seven hundred billion was a number out of the air,” Kashkari recalls, wheeling toward the hex nuts and the bolts. “It was a political calculus. I said, ‘We don’t know how much is enough. We need as much as we can get [from Congress]. What about a trillion?’ ‘No way,’ Hank shook his head. I said, ‘Okay, what about 700 billion?’ We didn’t know if it would work. We had to project confidence, hold up the world. We couldn’t admit how scared we were, or how uncertain.”
He’s currently living in a shack in the Sierra Nevada mountains; the stress apparently snapped him like a rubber band. I don’t know whether to be sympathetic, or use him as a Horrible Example of Why You Need To Stay Out Of Dizzy City. Possibly both.