Maybe it's just a story of a crisis-era Treasury Department alumnus being loyal to his old boss. But it also looks like a Goldman Sachs honcho doing PR for an Obama appointee as a way of ingratiating himself to powerful government employees.
An open-records inquiry turned up this entertaining email exchange:
By January 2013, veteran Democratic operative Jake Siewert had aready passed through the revolving door, leaving Treasury to become Goldman's head of corporate communications. But as his old boss, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, was leaving, Siewert wrote in an email, "Still doing my old job."
He pitched Business Insider editor Henry Blodgett a clever idea for a little story:
"How about a Geithner chart of the day?" Siewert suggested.
"Dow Jones at 8000 when confirmed as Treasury Secretary[.] Dow Jones at 13825 as he begins his last day on the job."
Blodgett liked the idea, forwarded it to his deputy Joe Weisenthal, and by 9:33 am, BI's Lucas Kawa had the story online, currently headlined "Tim Geithner's Amazing Rally"
When Geithner took office, the markets were in free-fall and the Dow Jones briefly dipped below 7000. Under his steady leadership, the DJIA has more than doubled from its 2009 trough.
His vigorous defense of the banking system played a big role in ensuring a turnaround.
When the story was up, Blodget replied to Siewert with the URL. Siewert instantly forwarded the entire email chain to higher-ups at Treasury, who were not departing with Geithner — Assistant Secretary Jenni LeCompte, and Treasury chief of staff Mark Patterson. Siewert's email to the Treasury officials had one line: "Mission Accomplished?"
Again, it's mostly a story of Siewert continuing to fight for his former boss, but it's also an insight into how these relationships continue after someone like Siewert has passed through the revolving door: He's using Goldman Sachs' time and email to get good press for Geithner, and then making sure Treasury Department officials see the work he did.
A footnote: Both of the Treasury officials Siewert mailed are revolvers, too. Patterson was a registered Goldman Sachs lobbyist just nine months before he joined the Obama White House (Obama doesn't count him as a lobbyist, though, arguing that Patterson wasn't legally required to register as a lobbyist, so they'll pretend he wasn't one). Now Patterson runs the Public and Strategic Affairs Group at D.C. law firm Perkins Coie, where he "provides policy analysis and strategic counsel to clients such as major corporations, financial institutions and nonprofit organizations."
Le Compte is now a managing director at the lobbying firm, Glover Park Group, where she works in their finance section. GPG's lobbying clients include the American Bankers Association, VISA, Capital One, and JPMorgan Chase.