Neel’s interest in public policy and service took him to Washington, D.C. in 2006, when President George W. Bush appointed him to the Department of the Treasury. His initial work brought together experts from across the government and private sectors to craft policies to encourage alternative energy sources that would enhance both national security and environmental sustainability. When the housing downturn started, Neel led the Department’s work with non-profit organizations, congressional leaders, and financial institutions to help distressed homeowners avoid preventable foreclosures.That "program" was the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.
Neel was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in 2008. As the financial crisis erupted, Neel negotiated with congressional leaders of both parties to write and pass landmark legislation to prevent a widespread economic collapse. The program he implemented not only has recouped all the money spent, but also has made a $13 billion profit for taxpayers to date. For his leadership, Neel received the Alexander Hamilton Award, the Department’s highest honor.
At Bloomberg, Michael Marois and James Nash report on the reaction from the camp of incumbent Jerry Brown.
Brown’s supporters already are using Kashkari’s job running TARP against him with voters who viewed the rescue as a bailout of the banking industry.
“It’s hard to imagine why someone with such a thin resume would think he’s qualified to be governor -– he’s rarely bothered to vote, and his one public policy act was handing $700 billion to Wall Street banks,” said Dan Newman, a Brown campaign adviser. “There’s absolutely no rationale for Kashkari’s candidacy.”