GE chief Immelt on Obama economic team


President Barack Obama wants the newly named blue ribbon Economic Recovery Advisory Board to help get the nation out of recession. Former Fed Chief Paul Volcker is the chair and the 16 members include some Republicans who have not been 100% supportive of Obama’s economic policies, like Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric, parent company of NBC Universal.  

At a recent Wall Street Journal breakfast confab, Immelt said he was a lifelong Republican, but that he would give the new President an A- or B+ thus far as a manager. But he was also critical of Obama’s decision to cap executive pay at $500,000 for companies receiving federal bailout funds, saying the big financial institutions need to be able to compete for top talent. So, he sometimes supports Obama and sometimes doesn’t.

Likewise, Harvard University economist Martin Feldstein wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece praising Sen. John McCain’s tax-cut plan. Another member, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette co-founder William Donaldson was SEC Chairman under President George W. Bush.

DLJ was certainly involved in capitalizing broadcasting companies at one time, but that doesn’t mean that Donaldson himself had much direct involvement in analyzing media economics. Likewise for Robert Wolf, Chairman & CEO, UBS Group Americas.

More direct media industry input may come from Monica C. Lozano, Publisher & CEO of La Opinión, a Spanish-language daily newspaper based in Los Angeles.