I have regularly trashed Robert Rubin in this blog for quite some time.
And while I further tarnish the name of Rubin in Bailout Nation — he is between Hank Paulson and Larry Summers in our blame list — I probably could have slapped him around even more had time and space pemitted.No Matter. Felix Salmon jumps into the void ...
He epitomized the way in which traders ousted investment bankers and turned investment banks into systemically-dangerous institutions by making them much larger than they had ever been in the past.
• For all his vocal bellyaching about tail risk, he ultimately made his money as an arbitrageur, making leveraged bets that something with a 95% chance of happening was, indeed, going to happen. That’s a strategy which works until it doesn’t — but by the time it failed, Rubin had moved on to greater things.
• He was one of those senior men at investment banks who encouraged risk-taking without understanding the risks which were being taken.
• He was perfectly happy to see Larry Summers cheer on the single most disastrous deregulation of derivatives ever, the CFMA.
• He allowed the illegal creation of Citigroup with a nod and a wink, knowing that Gramm-Leach-Bliley was just around the corner and would make Citigroup legal in retrospect.....and there's more at the link. And it's damning.