It’s been a hefty week. There was an off-shore oil catastrophe, a bit of a financial problem in Europe, a day-long Goldman Sachs Senate extravaganza, not to mention a new criminal investigation into the firm’s practices, and, probably most importantly, some big arguments about the future of financial reform.
So one can only be grateful that the week is ending on the high note of an outrageous sex scandal.
Until today, the London Business School-educated Iris Mack was known as a Harvard Management Company whistle-blower. From now on she will be remembered for these extraordinary words about her affair with former Treasury Secretary and Citi executive Bob Rubin: “He got this funny look on his face, and asked: ‘Do you want to go upstairs and…cuddle?’ So that’s what this is about... And not long afterward the former Treasury Secretary had his tongue down my throat and hands everywhere sort of like an octopus.”
Ms. Mack says she has come public with the story of her affair with Mr. Rubin because it began exactly when Mr. Rubin was ignoring emails with titles like URGENT — READ IMMEDIATELY — FINANCIAL ISSUES. “Can this country really afford to appoint bratty teenagers to positions of power and influence when they have already demonstrated to us, over and over again, that they are no more capable of taking responsibility for their actions than bratty teenagers?” she writes. “Then why in God’s name am I still, after his pathetic FCIC performance, reading stories about how Bob Rubin ‘still wields tremendous influence in Barack Obama’s Washington?’”
That’s going to be a harder question to answer after Ms. Mack’s post.
One of its most damning parts is just how clearly it shows Mr. Rubin not doing very much at all during Citi’s crisis, even though he was a senior executive there: “‘Don’t you have work to do, Mr. Chairman?’ I joked during our third call. ‘I’m the chairman of the executive committee… It means the word chairman is in the title and I get paid very handsomely, but I don’t have any actual managerial responsibilities.’ He seemed pleased.”
Ironically, the notion that Mr. Rubin wasn’t doing much when he was making more than $100 million at Citi isn’t new–it’s exactly what Mr. Rubin, in his own defense, told the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission this month.