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Rubin Says Europe Still Faces Risks in Search for Stability

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin said European leaders are “behind the curve” as they seek to stabilize the region’s economy.

“I still think that while the probability is still somewhat greater than not that they will reach this place of interim stability, I still think there’s a lot of risk,” Rubin said today at a conference in Washington sponsored by The Atlantic.

Rubin, 73, was Treasury secretary for more than four years under President Bill Clinton and led U.S. efforts to contain the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s.

“The euro-zone leaders were behind the curve in dealing with Greece,” Rubin said. “They remained behind the curve the whole time. And they’re behind the curve right now.”

Rubin also said another round of asset purchases known as quantitative easing would do “very little” to help the U.S. economy. The Federal Reserve has engaged in two rounds of asset purchases totaling $2.3 trillion to boost the economy.

Rubin was co-chairman of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. from 1990 to 1992. After leaving the Treasury he moved in 1999 to become chairman of the executive committee of Citigroup Inc. He is now co-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and an adviser to Centerview Partners, a New York investment banking advisory firm.

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