neelkashkari.jpgAs previously mentioned, Neel Kashkari has been living in the woods since leaving the Treasury. Up in his secluded mountain cabin in California, Kashkari has been undergoing a four-step program of his own design called “Washington detox.” It involves building a shed, chopping wood, helping Hank Paulson with his book and losing 20 pounds. You might’ve thought that working 24 hours a day would’ve left the little guy gaunt and malnourished but au contraire– Kashkari packed on the lbs like it was his job, mostly by never having time to working out and dining on “family-size Cool Ranch Doritos.” And he’s determined to lose the weight not simply because he wants to fit into his old pants but because of what the fat around his waist represents– the most miserable year of his life. Yes, these are not just your average inches of flab. Each molecule of fat is a Congressman berating him on the hill. It’s him nearly having a heart attack while working on his first TARP report. It’s Paulson looking at him with eyes that say, “Maybe you should skip dessert tonight.” It’s a demon.

It’s personal, this — him vs. Washington. “It’s detox of a tough period,” Kashkari says later, wiping his forehead. “Through exercise like running, but exorcize is relevant, too.”

He’s been working hard, but he’s not there yet, and until he is, dinner is out.

Now, after six months of dieting and 45-mile alpine bike rides, the gym scale under Kashkari’s sneakers reads: 181.2. “No dinner tonight,” he grumbles.
“Are you detox’d yet?” A friend had messaged. Not until he weighs 180.

If it sounds like Kashkari’s being a little extremist with his diet, it’s just because he really, really doesn’t want to be compared to Larry Summers.

In Washington, Kashkari, about 5-foot-10, had ballooned — “I’m a stress eater” — to 203 pounds. His waistband cut into the folds of his stomach. His biceps felt like “bags of Jell-O.”…He’s put on classic stress-related weight under his chin.

But anyone can see Kashkari has made a lot of progress. Even his (prick?) former boss, whose book Kashkari is reliving the horror of last year in order to help edit, is noticing, and offering backhanded compliments.

The next morning of his D.C. visit, he knocks on Paulson’s front door.
“Neel,” Paulson says warmly. “You’re a different man.”
“I lost 18 of the 20 pounds.”
“Almost there,” Paulson smiles. “I remember when you were here in April, and you were fat.”
“And unhappy,” Kashkari adds.

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Comments (79)

  1. Posted by guest | December 7, 2009 at 10:08 AM

    Do these bike shorts make me look fat?
    Seriously Neel, how’s the weed?

  2. Posted by guest | December 7, 2009 at 10:10 AM

    haha paulson is such a dick

  3. Posted by Jealous in Bangalore | December 7, 2009 at 10:10 AM

    And he still ends up with a hag for a wife.

  4. Posted by guest | December 7, 2009 at 10:13 AM

    @3 you’re a tool.

  5. Posted by guest | December 7, 2009 at 10:13 AM

    But is he a chump?
    Elijah Cummings

  6. Posted by guest | December 7, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    HP: I guess now that you stopped taking the Estrogen, the pounds just melted away.
    NK: Yea, let’s make sure we keep that part out of the book, ok?
    HP: Only if you let me make it “rain” as they say. Just one more time? Come on, I will throw in a good word with Lloyd for ya. What do you say?
    NK: OK, but let me tie the dogs up outside, I don’t them to see this.

  7. Posted by guest | December 7, 2009 at 10:15 AM


  8. Posted by guest | December 7, 2009 at 10:22 AM

    The weight gain due to stress is BS. Little known outside the beltway, NK was a two time vending machine challenge champ at the Treasury.
    -the vending machine restocking guy at the Treasury

  9. Posted by NakedShort | December 7, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    Did it not cross his mind to simply walk to Subway every day and enjoy a fresh, healthy and delicious 6 inch submarine sandwich?
    -Jared Fogle

  10. Posted by Anal_yst | December 7, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    Shut the fuck up Fogle
    Subway sucks, and is severely inferior to Blimpie.

  11. Posted by guest | December 7, 2009 at 10:53 AM

    I hear he’s pissing in Paulson’s mouth as part of his detox.

  12. Posted by NakedShort | December 7, 2009 at 10:56 AM

    @11 the preferred nomenclature is tinkling

  13. Posted by guest | December 7, 2009 at 10:58 AM

    “Kashkari packed on the lbs like it was his job,” golden.
    Food brings out the best in you.

  14. Posted by guest | December 7, 2009 at 11:07 AM

    I wish I was addicted to food instead of….. well…….you know.

  15. Posted by guest | December 7, 2009 at 11:15 AM


  16. Posted by guest | December 7, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    Real men eat KFC.

  17. Posted by guest | December 7, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    I can relate to what NK is going through – I’m also a stress eater, although I prefer to eat things other than food.
    – Tiger Woods

  18. Posted by guest | December 7, 2009 at 11:30 AM

    Agree with @1: this guy is going through bricks of sensemilla californicus and plowing his wife like a Boston back bay avenue. and good for him. he can start that new job “as soon as the golden seal gets here”

  19. Posted by guest | December 7, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    I know, 13 and 18!! I can’t stop thinking about golden showers either. Call me if you’re down…

  20. Posted by Brezeck | December 7, 2009 at 5:19 PM

    lmao 17…….
    and actually i agree that NK is a tough who just actually wants to prove himself while following hank to dc…
    but he just would never know what would be going on when the recession came. and indeed, HP is a dick who uses bookish compliments to console a boy. But NK perhaps gets his own plan?

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