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Monday, 9 December, 2002, 15:23 GMT
US economy chiefs resign: Your reaction
Talking Point: Paul O'Neill
The US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill has unexpectedly resigned.

His departure was announced just before the markets opened on Wall Street.

Shortly afterwards came the news that White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey had also quit.

Last month, Mr O'Neill tried to reassure Americans that the country was on the road to recovery.

But he has been prone to making gaffes and has been heavily criticised for his outspoken style.

Many analysts welcomed his resignation.

"He's a very able person. But his performance as US treasury secretary has not inspired confidence," said Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer at First Albany Corp.

What do you think about Mr O'Neill's performance? Has he helped or hindered the US economy?

This Talking Point has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Firing O'Neil won't help the economy. Having checks on corporations and correcting the US foreign policies will do more for the economy than firing a couple of people.
Marcus, USA

The economic policy of the Bush administration has been a disastrous failure. Real incentive for growth doesn't come from giving the richest one percent of the population even more discretionary money, it comes from tax stimulus that encourages capital investment within the United States to put more money in the hands of the other 99 percent of the population.
Mark, USA

It is a negative consequence of free market capitalism

D Crist, USA
Bush didn't create this economic stagnation. It is a negative consequence of free market capitalism. There is simply over-capacity in almost everything produced and nearly zero profit margins for most producers. i.e. a buyers market. But the buyers a full up or just tired of buying stuff. It is going to take a long time to dig out of this recession.
D Crist, USA

It is unfortunate that Mr. O'Neill has been pressured to resign. He represents the old conservative guard, whose policies have stood America in good stead for many years. The militaristic spending policies of the Bush, (series 2) Administration are in conflict with fiscal responsibility. I think that it is a case of "Shoot the messenger." He and others were in the way of the Bush economic policies and he had to go.
Patricia Vanderveer, Merseyside,U.K. formerly U.S. and Canada

Alan Greenspan should have been fired. He is solely responsible for the current world recession by ramping up interest rates in 1999/2000 to a level totally unjustified by any threat of inflation.
Dr G E Metcalfe, UK

O'Neill's fault was being the best at playing the denial game

Bob, USA
The problem with the economy lies with the after effects of the largest stock market bubble in history bursting in early 2000. The bubble was created or at least helped along by Alan Greenspan. There is more pain to come. O'Neill's fault was being the best at playing the denial game. The sooner you face a problem the sooner you can truly deal with it.
Bob, USA

If only it were this easy. President Bush is looking for a cheerleader, not a Treasury Secretary. If he really cares about a recovering economy, the president will freeze or repeal the ridiculous tax cut that primarily benefits those who make $1.5 million annually. It's insulting to the middle class and abusive to the poor.
Cari, Washington DC, USA

O'Neill may have been reluctant to preside over the $1.3 trillion "Robin-Hood-in-reverse" tax-cuts for the super rich which his boss has put in place. If so, he is to be applauded.
Paul Warren, Canada

The recovery has already begun, but the effects run many months behind it. These people have taken the blame for a recession that started long before they got the job. In the same way, their replacements will probably get the credit for the recovery. In truth none of them have any real control over the economy. If there is anyone to blame it is Bush, whose foreign policies have made investors look elsewhere and made the recession longer than it need have been.
Philip, USA

O' Neill has done the best he could with what he was given

Chris, USA
I like O'Neill, he said what he thought. Bluntness is a quality I usually like in politicians. Greenspan and the President and O'Neill have done a good job in helping clean up the mess left by the dotcoms and other shaky ideas. This recession started back before Bush even started campaigning for president, and O' Neill has done the best he could with what he was given. Congress needs to restructure the tax codes to help make the next person's job easier.
Chris, USA

Mr O'Neill is a good man, but he lacked the toughness for the job. The fact is the man that rules the economy is Chairman Greenspan of the Federal Reserve Board. When he talks people listen.
Barbara, USA

Bush has been a complete economic failure. He came into office with a massive surplus, and through mismanagement the country is again in massive deficit. Much of the economy is out of the government's hands. But if Bush were running one of my companies, I'd fire him. Of all of Bush's staff, the only two I'd keep would be Powell and Rice. Why is there never money to aid America's people, and yet they can find 400 billion for the military or billions for a new military toy to kill millions?
GC Jordahl, USA

He certainly did not inspire confidence

Meerkat, USA
O'Neill wasn't bad but he certainly did not inspire confidence. The fact that unemployment in America reached six percent in November did not help.
Meerkat, USA

The people of a nation control a capitalistic economy, not their leaders. The US enjoyed very little competition throughout the 80s and 90s from Europe and majority of the world. This was mainly because the US was the first nation to openly embrace the most effective economic system with our given technology, capitalism and globalisation. Now the rest of the world is catching up and are adequately globalised themselves. This will most definitely hurt America's economy because the market share will be going to other nations. Now the US really needs to compete to succeed. Bush and Clinton and the rest of them like to pretend they have control, but in actuality have very little.
Jason, USA

Now Bush can go ahead and get a 'yes man' to approve his tarrifs.
Roger, Chicago, USA

President Bush now needs to scrap his current economic policies and start over

Caroline, New Jersey, USA
Let's hope that Mr O'Neill's resignation is the first step in the right direction. President Bush now needs to scrap his current economic policies and start over. If only he would also scrap his current foreign policies as well!
Caroline, New Jersey, USA

A good man in the wrong job.
Simon Cook, UK

The Treasury Secretary plays only a minor role on the US economic stage. The man with the real power and authority to ultimately influence the US economy is Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan. If he is successful, so will the president. If he has to administer painful medicine - as Paul Volcker did when Jimmy Carter was in office - the president pays the price when he stands for re-election.
Martin, Chicago, USA

O'Neill's main fault is that he doesn't believe that the US economy will be served well by lining the pockets of corporations and the wealthy through tax cuts while increasing taxes for the poor. Where is the fault there?
R Bentley, New Zealand

Good. Now, maybe a recovery will begin.
Jeff, USA

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06 Dec 02 | Business
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