Kenneth Chenault, New Secretary of the Tresury perchance. Who is he . Looked it up. CEO of American Express (joined 1981, during which time at the helm AMEX nearly tanked except for a 17.4 billion dollar government(read: Taxpayer) bailout. Chenault was paid $80.1 million in salary from 2000 to 2010, the highest paid man in America, and may replace Timothy (‘the Printer’) Geithner.
(From a 2010 article in The New Yorker, John Cassidy): Take Ken Chenault, the longtime C.E.O. of American Express. In many ways, Chenault, one of the few African-American bosses of a Fortune 500 company, is an admirable figure. The son of a Long Island dentist, he attended Harvard Law School and worked as a management consultant before joining Amex in 1981. Under his leadership, the firm has greatly expanded and generally thrived—something numerous magazine cover stories have pointed out. In return for his efforts, Chenault has become one of the highest paid men in America and a co-chairman of the Business Roundtable.
But how has Amex done during recent times? From a stockholder’s perspective, not very well at all. In January, 2001, when Chenault took over as C.E.O., the stock was trading at about fifty-five dollars. Today it is trading around forty dollars. In the interim, it has had its ups and downs, but the overall trend has been negative. During the past three years, a tough time for the entire financial industry, the stock price has fallen by about a third. And this decline would surely have been a lot bigger if, during the depths of the financial crisis, the federal government hadn’t agreed to guarantee as much as $14 billion of Amex’s debt and inject $3.4 billion of taxpayers’ money into the company. As a result of the government’s actions, Amex’s stock rebounded sharply from a low of ten dollars last January. (italics, underline, are mine).
Secretary of the Treasury
Department of the Treasury (1789):
The Department of the Treasury performs four basic functions: formulating and recommending economic, financial, tax, and fiscal policies; serving as financial agent for the U.S. Government; enforcing the law; and manufacturing coins and currency.
As a major policy adviser to the President, the Secretary of the Treasury has primary responsibility for formulating and recommending domestic and international financial, economic, and tax policy; participating in the formulation of broad fiscal policies that have general significance for the economy; and managing the public debt. The Secretary also oversees the activities of the Department in carrying out its major law enforcement responsibility; in serving as the financial agent for the U.S. Government; and in manufacturing coins, currency, and other products for customer agencies. The Secretary also serves as the Government’s chief financial officer.