Are you kidding me?

January 14, 2011 01:45 PM

Saw a strange headline in the FT this week. It was “The Daleys: the last dynasty in US politics,” referring to the recent appointment of William Daley as President Obama’s chief of staff. Daley is the brother of retiring Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and son of legendary Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley. 

Nothing strange in the appointment as several influential people including former President Bill Clinton advised the administration at the CME Group Global Financial Leadership Conference this fall that it needed to bring more business people into the administration.

Daley fits the bill being an executive with JP Morgan and former executive of SBC.

How is it strange? The word “last”.  As I recall we just had eight years of a Bush II presidency. His dad, George Bush, served as vice-president for eight years and president for four and the son was elected eight years later. President Obama’s catch phrase in the 2008 election (primaries and general) was “change” and don’t think for a minute that part of the calculation in coming up with that phrase was the prospect of having, in succession, a Bush, Clinton, Bush and Clinton Administration.

George W. Bush in his recent book tour has said his choice for the Republican nominee in 2012 is his brother Jeb, former Governor of Florida, who if he would announce his candidacy would probably be the front runner. If president Obama weakens or chooses not to run, Hilary Clinton would be—and probably will be in 2016—the consensus pick for the Democrats.

Here locally, Cook County is in a financial mess partially due to dynastic passing of the torch from father to son and the third Congressional District of Il. (my district) seat is held by Daniel Lipinski who basically was appointed by his father William Lipinski in 2004 (the father announced his retirement after winning the primary in a safe district and the son was slated in his place).

We could cite more examples but it seems clear that the era of political dynasties is waxing not waning.

How does this all relate to the markets? Not sure. But it is fair to believe that a political class that assumes they can pass along high office as if it were a family business doesn’t have our best interests in mind. Just look at the ease in which high level government positions are filled by the major investment banks.

Is it a coincidence that those investment banks that where on the ropes two years ago are now swimming in profits and bonuses while the rest of us are mired in a stagnant economy? Probably not.

Back to markets soon.

About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of Modern Trader, Daniel Collins is a 25-year veteran of the futures industry having worked on the trading floors of both the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange.