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Locals’ Moves Make National Headlines

Neel Kashkari

Neel Kashkari

Two high-powered Laguna Beach residents roiled waters in political and financial circles this week: Neel Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury official, announced his bid to unseat Gov. Jerry Brown, and Mohamed El-Erian resigned as head of Pimco, the world’s largest bond mutal fund.

Kashkari, a 40-year-old Republican, ran the Treasury Department’s taxpayer-funded federal bank bailout under the Obama and Bush administrations. He figures since he played a role in obtaining bipartisan support in Washington, D.C., he can do the same in California’s capital, he said Tuesday at an economic forum in Sacramento.

Kashkari, who worked at Goldman Sachs and is a former managing director of Newport Beach-based Pimco, has left few footprints in town.

El-Erian, who returned to Pimco in 2007, and his wife and daughter, have been more visible, involved in AYSO soccer, a

Mohamed El-Erian

Mohamed El-Erian

playhouse fundraiser and community theater.

Like the typical doting father, El-Erian showed up to watch his daughter in rehearsals for a No Square Theater children’s show. Unlike others, though, he was accompanied by a security detail. In another distinction, El-Erian distilled his observations last June for the Huffington Post. After the show’s final curtain, El-Erian wrote, “Most of all, I will never forget how the show’s leadership, content and vision empowered and motivated kids to achieve at levels that surprised even their parents and siblings. In all this, I cannot but help think of the parallels with what we should be seeing on the national stage, and the reality of what is missing.”

In news reports this week, some speculated El-Erian resigned to distance himself from Pimco as preparation for a possible cabinet-level job.

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