Monday, March 2, 2009


The Secretary of the Treasury needs to act as a Crisis Leader during 2009. He needs to get in front of the issues so that he is looking back from the finish line. He then can speak to the issues, the plan and the process to emerge from these dark days.

He also needs his own PR person to constantly make sure his message is properly delivered to the right audiences. For example, his office should stop using the term "bailout". Look at the AIG term sheet from this WSJ article. The Treasury clearly lays out the reasons for the approach they are taking. Steps like these need to be clearly and concisely laid out in order for people to understand that there is a sound basis for the steps being implemented.

Also, people can't see 'good' until they see what 'bad' looks like. The AIG plan may look bad, but the alternative is really bad. Once you look at the alternative, the AIG plan appears better. But it has to be properly presented and explained.

To this point, there needs to be a crisis plan articulated by the Treasury so people can believe that the leadership is on top of the situation, even if the final answer is not apparent. The overall crisis plan needs to lay out a well thought out process than gives people confidence. And it needs to be presented NOW!

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