Rebecca Blank is Acting Secretary of Commerce (Again)

A blog about business and economics.
June 11 2012 10:44 PM

Rebecca Blank is Acting Secretary of Commerce (Again)

John Bryson announced today that he'll be taking a "leave of absence" from his position as Secretary of Commerce in light of last night's car wreck incident. That means Deputy Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank is now Acting Secretary of Commerce.

It's a job she's held in the past. Back in August of 2011 she was Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs and head of the Economics and Statistics Administration when then-Secretary Gary Locke was appointed Ambassador to China. The Deputy Secretary job was vacant, and John Bryson's confirmation as the new Secretary was held up by a months-long filibuster over an unrelated trade matter.


Blank is a much more interesting person than Bryson in a lot of ways, the author of a bunch of wonky economic policy works including It Takes A Nation: A New Agenda for Fighting Poverty, Changing Inequality, Insufficient Funds: Savings, Assets, Credit, and Banking Among Low Income Families, and Is The Market Moral. I won't claim to have read all those books, but I have read parts of some of them. Changing Inequality concludes, incidentally, that "that per-person income has risen sharply among almost all social groups, even as income has become more unequally distributed" a conclusion somewhat at odds with a lot of recent liberal rhetoric though also backed up by Jamie Galbraith's Inequality and Instability.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.


Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

There Are New Abuse Allegations Against Adrian Peterson

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

John Oliver Pleads for Scotland to Stay With the U.K.

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter


Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 

The Juice

Ford’s Big Gamble

It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.

I Tried to Write an Honest Profile of One of Bollywood’s Biggest Stars. It Didn’t Go Well.

Here’s Why College Women Don’t Take Rape Allegations to the Police

The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 1:51 PM Here’s Why College Women Don’t Take Rape Allegations to the Police
  News & Politics
Sept. 15 2014 8:56 PM The Benghazi Whistleblower Who Might Have Revealed a Massive Scandal on his Poetry Blog
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
Sept. 15 2014 4:38 PM What Is Straight Ice Cream?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
Brow Beat
Sept. 15 2014 8:58 PM Lorde Does an Excellent Cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”
Future Tense
Sept. 15 2014 4:49 PM Cheetah Robot Is Now Wireless and Gallivanting on MIT’s Campus
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 15 2014 11:00 AM The Comet and the Cosmic Beehive
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.