RUBIN, ROBERT E.


RUBIN, ROBERT E.
RUBIN, ROBERT E. (1938– ), U.S. financier, 70th secretary of the U.S. Treasury. Born in New York City, Rubin graduated summa cum laude from Harvard in 1960. He attended the London School of Economics and received an LL.B. from Yale Law School in 1964. He entered private practice with the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, and Hamilton in New York. In 1966 he joined Goldman Sachs as an associate in the risk arbitrage division, and his brilliance there earned him a general partnership in 1971. In 1980 Rubin became a member of the management committee, then vice chairman and co-chief operating officer in 1987. He served as co-senior partner and co-chairman at Goldman Sachs from 1990 to 1992. When Bill Clinton took office as U.S. president in January 1993, Rubin joined the White House as assistant to the president for economic policy, directing Clinton's newly created National Economic Council. The passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993, an early success for Clinton, was also considered a victory for Rubin and an endorsement of the new "Rubinomics." In 1995 Rubin succeeded Lloyd Bentsen as Treasury secretary, serving until 1999. This period saw one of the highest levels of economic growth in U.S. history, for which Rubin is generally credited. It was also the first time when virtually every leading position in the Clinton economic team was held by a Jew. As Treasury secretary, Rubin's economic policies included measures for a steep deficit reduction, which ultimately resulted in a federal budget surplus; at the same time, the U.S. economy experienced both vigorous growth and very low levels of national unemployment. Internationally, Rubin urged the support of developing economies, including Mexico and Argentina, orchestrating a substantial loan guarantee for Mexico. With his deputy secretary Lawrence Summers (Rubin's eventual successor) and Alan Greenspan, Rubin coordinated the U.S. response to the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. In 1999 Rubin resigned as secretary and joined Citigroup, where he served as chairman of the executive committee. He has served on the board of trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Mt. Sinai Hospital and Medical School, the Securities and Exchange Commission Market Oversight and Financial Services Advisory Committee, the Mayor of New York's Council of Economic Advisors, and the Governor's Council on Fiscal and Economic Priorities for the State of New York. He has written, with journalist Jacob Weisberg, In an Uncertain World: Tough Choices from Wall Street to Washington (2003), a memoir documenting his years in the Clinton administration. (Dorothy Bauhoff (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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