October 8, 2008

With Henry Paulson on record that he would not continue past the Bush term as Treasury Secretary, debate moderator Tom Brokaw asked who the candidates would choose as a Treasury Secretary. McCain's response:

You know that’s a tough question, and there’s a lot of qualified Americans. But I think the first criteria, Tom, would have to be somebody who immediately Americans identify with. Immediately say we can trust that individual. Supporter of Sen. Obama’s is Warren Buffet. He’s already weighed in and helped stabilize some of the difficulties in the markets and with companies and corporations, institutions today. I like Meg Whitman. She knows what it’s like to be out there in the marketplace. She knows how to create jobs. Whitman was CEO of a company that started with 12 people and now, 1.3 million people in America make their living off eBay. Maybe someone here has done business with them. But the point is, it’s going to have to be somebody who inspires trust and confidence.

Confidence? Hmmmmm....I guess McCain didn't read today's LA Times:

Online retailer EBay Inc., which is trying to reverse years of slowing growth in its auction business amid rising competition and a spreading financial crisis, said Monday that it would cut 10% of its global workforce even as it spends $1.3 billion to buy three Web businesses.

Even after announcing the largest reduction in its 13-year history, which EBay said would save $150 million in annual operating costs, the San Jose company saw its shares tumble by as much as 12% to their lowest level in more than five years. They recovered to close at $17.89, down 5.5%.

Investors are concerned that EBay's bread and butter, online auctions, is showing increasing vulnerability to slowing consumer spending, the slumping U.S. housing market and high fuel prices.[..]

Although EBay said the layoffs (of about 1,000 full time employees) were not a result of the economic downturn, Chief Executive John Donahoe acknowledged that the weakening economy and the strengthening dollar were affecting sales. Donahoe, who took the reins from Meg Whitman in March, has been trying to lead a corporate overhaul.

Yeah, that inspires confidence, doesn't it? But I'm curious, as the Obama debate record site shows, McCain has mentioned his good friend Phil Gramm several times as a likely Treasury Secretary. Wonder why he didn't bring him up last night?

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