This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

U.S. Needs a Bankruptcy-Smart Treasury Secretary: Street Whispers

Aside from that, he believes the outlines of a solution are pretty straightforward.

"The basics of the deficit problem don't really seem to be very complicated and are widely understood by economists of all different political stripes," he says. "You could probably take 100 economists and put them in a room where half would be Democrats and half Republicans and 87 would give you the same answer," he says.

That would involve raising revenues and cutting expenses, almost certainly to "untouchable" programs such as Social Security and Medicare. If we do it too quickly, however, we would kill off growth and find ourselves in the situation much of Europe is in at the moment, Westbrook says.

As for putting a bankruptcy expert in the top job, one is hard-pressed to come up with a suitable candidate. One of the best-known restructuring experts, Wilbur Ross, supported Romney during the last election, assuming he had any interest in the job.

A longtime colleague and friend of Westbrook, Elizabeth Warren, might have made many Democrats who feel the party is too much in the thrall of Wall Street very happy. And she just happens to be a bankruptcy expert. The only problem, of course, is she will be otherwise occupied, having just won the junior Senate seat in Massachussetts.

Would Westbrook be willing to take the job in the office next door to the Treasury Secretary? He says he's never thought about it and has "the greatest job in the world," but would probably take the assignment if asked. "My good friend Liz also had the greatest job in the world as Harvard Professor, prior to working on establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and then running for Senate , and I guess if she could give up her job for a while I could too."

-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,614.81 +215.14 1.31%
S&P 500 1,941.28 +37.27 1.96%
NASDAQ 4,419.4780 +103.4040 2.40%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs