I Can’t Quite Bring Myself To Missing Him Yet

    In honor of the recent opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, Keith Hennessey tells us something about Former US President George W. Bush I never would have read in The New York Times.* He teaches an MBA class at Stanford U and one of the aspiring, bright leading-lights in America’s next colossal mortgage meltdown asked him if George W. Bush was smart. Dumb question. Particularly if the student was a snide liberal hoping Mr. Hennessey would him, haw and duck. Hennessey, to his credit, answered below.

    President Bush is extremely smart by any traditional standard. He’s highly analytical and was incredibly quick to be able to discern the core question he needed to answer. It was occasionally a little embarrassing when he would jump ahead of one of his Cabinet secretaries in a policy discussion and the advisor would struggle to catch up. He would sometimes force us to accelerate through policy presentations because he so quickly grasped what we were presenting. I use words like briefing and presentation to describe our policy meetings with him, but those are inaccurate. Every meeting was a dialogue, and you had to be ready at all times to be grilled by him and to defend both your analysis and your recommendation. That was scary.

    So George W. Bush, like most sentient, literate human beings, is smarter than the “smart-set” that ridiculed him in the blogs and the newspapers. Does that mean he was good? Does that mean I miss him yet? I’d say he got a bum rap. Like any intelligent person called stupid by Maureen Dowd or Joe Biden, he was pilloried unfairly unless you believe the old saw that it takes one to know one. But no, I can’t say I quite miss George W. Bush. I explain below.

    Read More »

    Corporate Governance After the Financial Crisis

    Download Podcast | iTunes | Podcast Feed On today’s edition of Coffee and Markets, Pejman Yousefzadeh and Kevin Holtsberry are joined by Stephen Bainbridge to discuss his book, Corporate Governance After the Financial Crisis, the general shortcomings of policy approaches to financial crises, and the shortcomings of Sarbanes-Oxley, and Dodd-Frank. We’re brought to you as always by BigGovernment and Stephen Clouse and Associates. If you’d | Read More »

    Corporate Governance After the Financial Crisis

    Download Podcast | iTunes | Podcast Feed On today’s edition of Coffee and Markets, Pejman Yousefzadeh and Kevin Holtsberry are joined by Stephen Bainbridge to discuss his book, Corporate Governance After the Financial Crisis, the general shortcomings of policy approaches to financial crises, and the shortcomings of Sarbanes-Oxley, and Dodd-Frank. We’re brought to you as always by BigGovernment and Stephen Clouse and Associates. If you’d | Read More »

    A Real Jobs Summit

    The Competitive Enterprise Institute is swiftly becoming the lead pipe-swinger in the defense of U.S. Capitalism. First they file an intent to sue NASA over their failure to comply with FOI Act demands for ClimateGate documents and now their suit to have Sarbanes-Oxley declared unconstitutional is three short days away from being heard before the Supreme Court. I may have to check this one out | Read More »

    PCAOB and Sarbox In The Dock

    The Supreme Court this morning granted certiorari in Free Enterprise Fund and Beckstead and Watts, LLP v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, et al., No. 08-861 on the Court’s docket. The case will be briefed over the summer, heard in the Fall (after, among other things, Justice Souter’s retirement, assuming all goes on schedule) and decided some time between next December and July 2010. Given | Read More »

    The Huckabee-Ramsey Plan

    If you don’t do the Paulson plan, what do you do? There are several options. The first is to do nothing and let the economy slide into a hole. Not really a responsible option, but one that House and Senate Democrats are looking at if they can’t get enough Republican votes. Senator McCain said it best on this point: But when he was asked by | Read More »

    SOX Survives

    A divided panel of the DC Circuit this morning, in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, No. 07-5127 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 22, 2008), rejected a challenge to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s appointment on separation of powers grounds; because of the lack of a severability clause in Sarbanes-Oxley, the challenge presented the possibility that the court would have had to declare | Read More »