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Thursday, April 9, 2009

My New Hero

No, not Hank Paulson, the guy on the right.  His name is James Lambright, and he is the Chief Investment Officer of the TARP.  That means his job is to negotiate,on behalf of Uncle Sam, with companies looking for bailout money.  Apparently, he's quite good at his job, as you can see from this profile

Here's a few tidbits:
  • After working his way through Stanford delivering beer, he boxed his way through the Harvard Law School:
" He took up boxing as a way to exercise indoors during the Boston winters and quickly found himself competing in the semifinals of the New England Golden Gloves, an amateur boxing event."  

  • He eats PBJ's for lunch:
"He packs homemade peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches for lunch and takes photographs of doors he finds interesting. He is fond of metaphors." 

  • This is what happened during negotiantions with Bank of America:
"Mr. Lambright spoke up. He reminded the CFO that his firm was bleeding outside the emergency room and was seeking help from a government with only blunt instruments at its disposal, according to three people familiar with the call.

'You're in pain and you have to decide: Does it hurt more to come in or stay out?'"
  • The next month this happened with GM:
"A little later, Mr. Lambright was on the phone with Mr. Young of GM, haggling over some details the Treasury was demanding. Mr. Lambright was in no mood to negotiate.

'You're our third-biggest deal of the day,' Mr. Lambright told GM's chief financial officer, according to three people familiar with the call. 'So if you don't want to do this now, we have plenty else to do. Call us later.'

GM agreed to the government's offer, and received its cash before the New Year.

The good news is that New Treasury Secretary Geithner was smart enough to keep our hero in this job.  Yay for the bald guy!