The Rubin/Snow Quiz

Various people, including InstaPundit, are making much of the following economic “quiz”:

Q: Was U.S. economic growth higher during the time John Snow was Treasury Secretary, or during the time Robert Rubin was Treasury Secretary?
A: It was the same , 3.8 percent.

The spin, of course, is that this reflects media bias, with a “liberal” media playing up Rubin’s record, and downplaying Snow’s record. While politics does intrude on economic coverage now and then, this doesn’t strike me as a good example.

Two reasons (of many) why Rubin has a far better reputation than Snow are a) the stockmarket, which was up 27.5% under Rubin (11.3% under Snow); and b) that Rubin was simply more skilled than the the oft-clumsy Snow. It isn’t politics, but money-in-pocket and poise that explain the different perceptions of Rubin and Snow.


  1. johnny q says:

    it seems blogs are going downhill latley.
    maybe because rubin weathered, and steered throught LTCM, Mexico, and whatever else.
    and because snow was completely irresponsible with his handling of the overvalued usd dollar. so much so soros went on tv reveiled his book on tv and said snow was an idiot.
    but then this all happened before most vc’s and bloggers were out of school.

  2. All you have to know:
    Under Rubin I had a Great job with benefiits.
    Under Snow, my job went to India and I haven’t replaced it.

  3. Johnny q — Maybe I’m missing something and your comments are directed elsewhere, but aren’t we saying the same thing here?

  4. johnny q says:

    oh yeh, directed at instapundit for making much out of the quiz. i don’t see how the either the gdp could possibly be used to judge a treasury secretary. or why anyone would even bother to compare the two of them.
    but come to think of it, i think the stock market is a bogus indicator as well.
    does the treasury instill confidence, or not? do i worry that there are reg FD issues with snow? yes. rubin no f’n way.
    does the treasury secretary affect the economy. sure exporters are doing ok. but my net worth is down 30% in terms of my currency which matters more.
    its like batman and the boy blunder