Yes, it’s a perfectly excellent nomination by the Obama Administration for Treasury. No, I’m serious.
Stuart Levey, the Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, played the key role in snipping North Korea’s financial lifelines in 2005 and 2006, starting with Macau’s Banco Delta Asia. Treasury’s effort ended when North Korea blinked and made a bunch of false promises to Chris Hill just to stop the pain, and Chris Hill duly made it stop. But no single U.S. government official had ever exerted any real influence on the North Korean regime until Stuart Levey dammed up Kim Jong Il’s steam of illicit income.
The Obama Administration will thank itself for keeping Levey around when Kim Jong Il launches the big rocket and he turns to the State Department for solutions and sees only shrugged shoulders and clucked tongues. Stuart Levey knows where the solution begins, and if he ever runs out of ideas, well, I can suggest a few more.