Neel Kashkari: Desi To Rescue Wall Street

neel_kashkari The last two weeks have been the worst (in decades) in financial history, in the US in particular and the world in general.

Even the “solution” to create a $700 Billion US$ plan did nothing to change the mood of the markets worldwide, with the US markets crashing nearly 750 points, the Indian Sensex down 750 points and the Russian stock market down nearly 20%.

The collective prayers of the U.S. population seem to be this US$ 700B bailout. And who else but a desi dude is pulled in to administer this.

Neel Kashkari was selected by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to oversee the bailout program

The Treasury Department plans to tap Neel Kashkari, an assistant secretary of international affairs and a former Goldman Sachs banker, to oversee the government’s $700 billion financial rescue program, sources familiar with the situation said yesterday.

Kashkari has been a close adviser to Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. on the credit crisis and helped draft the legislation for the massive rescue plan. He is expected to run the program on an interim basis until the Treasury finds a permanent head, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment. Kashkari’s replacement would stay on after the next administration takes office in January. [link]

Neel Kashkari is an ABD, and his parents hail from Jammu and Kashmir

Neel was born in Akron, Ohio to Chaman and Sheila Kashkari, Indian immigrants originally from J&K, who like thousands of Indian immigrants took the academic route to the United States. Chaman Kashkari, who taught at the University of Akron, is now a retired professor of engineering and Sheila Kashkari is a pathologist. Neel’s wife Minal works for defense contractor Lockheed Martin. The couple has been active in Republican circles with political contributions to the party. [link]

Neel is one more of a growing list of Indian-Americans that are playing an important part in the Bush Administration.

Now Neel with all his engineering background and financial acumen is expected to turn around the whole mess. The Indian angle to his background is not lost. At least three colleagues here in the office pointed this out to me, minutes after the news became public.

It somehow increases the growing influence and prowess of India in the international forum, and for all the positive reasons, unlike say China who is in the news for poison milk.


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