No hogwash at the Hog House

From a recent edition of The Times:
“Another Kushner ally, Dina Powell [no relation: no really, I promise you], was added to the national security council last month. She left a job overseeing corporate philanthropy at Goldman Sachs to join the White House.”  

Overseeing corporate philanthropy at Goldman Sachs must be a huge responsibility. It has to take – what do you reckon? – maybe a whole hour each year? Dina must have been exhausted. Overseeing it at the present White House probably takes less than half an hour. Maybe no time at all. Sounds like a good career move.

I understand that Ms Powell’s appointment is merely the first of a number that the President is about to announce.

The former head of health and safety at Union Carbide India Ltd has been enticed from his retirement home, several thousand miles from Bhopal, to advise on ecological issues. This underlines the President’s determination to ensure that withdrawal from the Paris agreement on climate change does not detract from his personal dedication to the environment. In the same spirit, the former head of BP’s marine biology division is being recruited to offer his expertise on oil drilling in sensitive areas.

More appointments are expected in the international arena. It is not widely known that the President recently held a meeting with Kim Jong-un to discuss their mutual commitment to nuclear non-proliferation. Kim is expected to be announced as special adviser on world peace and security. In this capacity, he will work closely with President Putin’s envoy to Ukraine on the rights of small independent nations, and with Saudi Arabia’s defence minister on arms control in the Middle East.

At the same time, the Syrian Minister for the Interior will leave his job to advise the White House on humanitarian issues, and the Turkish President will become a consultant on press freedom.

I have also picked up that the Finance Director of Apple will be seconded to the Internal Revenue Service to ensure that US companies comply with international tax law. And a committee drawn from senior staff at JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup will draw up stringent new guidelines on executive pay.

All in all, it is gratifying to see that the President has responded positively to criticism and is taking immediate steps to introduce the necessary expertise into his Administration.