Rubin Says He Has Too Many Dollars 13 Years After Departing U.S. Treasury

By Nina Mehta
Bloomberg
Mar. 09, 2012

Robert Rubin, who as U.S. Treasury secretary in the 1990s promoted a stronger dollar, said he has too much of his personal investments in the currency.

A “disproportionate amount” of his assets are in cash and he “should be more allocated away from the dollar,” Rubin, 73, said yesterday in a speech at the TradeTech conference in New York. He said he also was “greatly overweighted” in private equity and had investments in hedge funds.

Rubin, who served in President Bill Clinton’s administration between holding senior jobs at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Citigroup Inc. (C), had a so-called strong-dollar policy as Treasury secretary that successors followed. He said yesterday that his support for Federal Reserve quantitative easing has waned since the initial round, known as QE1.

“QE1 was a necessity, QE2 I sort of wondered about,” he said. “QE3 would accomplish very little. Not only would it expand the money supply, it would undermine confidence that the Fed would ultimately monetize our debt.”

The U.S. economic outlook is the “most uncertain and the most complex” it’s been in the past half-century, Rubin said. He cited concerns about the European sovereign-debt crisis, the labor and housing markets, and stagnant mean wages. A lack of change in U.S. income distribution “could undermine public support for trade and market-based economics,” he said.

Rubin, who left the Treasury in 1999, collected more than $150 million in pay from Citigroup in the decade that followed. He took a part-time counselor role at merger-advisory boutique Centerview Partners LLP in 2010 and stopped advising hedge funds Taconic Capital Advisors LP and Farallon Capital Management LLC, Adam Miller, his spokesman, said at the time.

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