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Obama Must Look to Private Sector to Replace Summers


JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon, Jack Welch of GE, and Michael Bloomberg are just a few of the leaders who have proved they can build a major organization from the ground up.

Editor's Note: See more from Scott Redler at

With the departure of Lawrence Summers, a White House economic advisor, President Obama has an opportunity to change his trend and finally get some private-sector experience close to him. I believe he must take this opportunity to grab a strong individual from the private sector who's built a major corporation. He needs someone who has actually hired and fired individuals based on real market and economic factors. We need someone who understands business, not another individual who's more comfortable in a lecture hall. We need someone who has/had skin in the game. Five of my candidates, for example, are Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Larry Kellner, CEO of Continental Airlines (CAL), Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, Jack Welch, former CEO of GE (GE), and Steve Forbes, media mogul and former presidential hopeful.

The lack of private-sector experience and expertise in President Obama's cabinet may explain why it's the most anti-business administration in United States history. In Obama's cabinet there's not even one former corporate executive. If you take a look at past administrations -- both Democratic and Republican -- they've included several high-profile names with private-sector experience. Several business leaders who supported Obama during the elections financially and with their vote are now having second thoughts. Allstate (ALL) CEO Tom Wilson told CNN last week, "I think it was a hiring mistake for the administration," and Intel (INTC) CEO Paul Otellini, in an Investor's Business Daily article, said the president "does not understand what it takes to create jobs." I've said it before and will say it again: If the administration wants to create jobs and bolster economic growth it needs to focus on supporting the private sector, not get in its way.

A quintessential example of Obama holding down the private sector can be seen in the passage of the financial regulation bill and his general attitude toward Wall Street, referring to them as "fat cat bankers." His agenda to cut into bank profits has very negative implications for our country's growth. In simple terms, business needs capital to grow. Cutting into banks' profits for purportedly causing the recent crisis punishes businesses that need capital to grow by limiting the banks' ability to lend. It's imperative that Obama changes his current anti-business stance if we want to see more jobs and growth in this country.

I'm only a technical analyst, but I don't think we can afford or need another professor or organizer to fill this position. We need someone who's been in the trenches and knows what it takes to build a major organization from the ground up, and not simply learned about it from a textbook.

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