Bureaucracy May Be Ready For 'Smart People'

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With the government expanding and financial employers in lockdown, migration from Wall Street to Washington seems as natural as sunshine.

Bankers, traders and securities analysts possess financial acumen and market savvy that Washington needs. And for a variety of reasons, many financiers right now aren't deterred by the low and rigid pay scales associated with government work.

But what about culture? Can the bureaucracy handle an influx of hard-charging, bottom-line-driven innovators? And in turn, can these Ivy-educated financial whizzes blend into the civil servant milieu?

A regulator we spoke with acknowledges the possibility of a culture clash - but holds out hope nonetheless.

"The problem in government is, traditionally a supervisor won't hire someone who knows more than he does. So you get a dumbing-down effect," he says.

"But now, with all the congressional criticism, the feeling is they'll want to hire smart people" to regulate the industry and oversee various rescue programs funded with tax dollars.

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