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11th February
2009
written by Sean Noble

I remain mystified as to how Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner represents a “new direction” than what we faced in the last administration under the leadership of then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson.  When Obama nominated Geithner, he said this, I’ve sought leaders who could offer both sound judgment and fresh thinking, both a depth of experience and a wealth of bold, new ideas…”

What drives me batty, is that he repeatedly says that we must turn away from the “failed policies of the past” without a hint of irony, given Geithner’s pivotal role in those very policies.

For some historical context, this lengthy article in the Washington Post, from Sept. 19, 2008, points out that everything Paulson was doing was in concert with Tim Geithner, then head of Federal Bank of New York, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Here are some snippets:

He [Paulson] even showed advance texts of his speeches to Bernanke and Geithner. The first time, Paulson was surprised to get a heavily marked-up version from Geithner in return. Paulson set up a call, and the two went through the speech line by line.

***

When Geithner engineered the rescue of failing investment bank Bear Stearns in the middle of a cold March night, he had Paulson and Bernanke on the phone to get their input and blessing.

Paulson took the lead on the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but Bernanke advised him closely, and Geithner played a supporting role in calculating the impact on the financial markets.

And within the past week, all three were deeply involved in the decisions to throw AIG one lifeline and deprive Lehman of another.

***

Whenever Paulson, Bernanke and Geithner have talked to lawmakers or delivered tough messages to executives of companies such as Bear Stearns or AIG, the three men have put up a united front.

If Obama were actually serious about avoiding the “failed policies of the past” he would have nominated someone else as Treasury Secretary.  Instead, we get a Paulson mini-me in Tim Geithner.  Given that track record, we are certainly facing failed policies in the future.

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3 Comments

  1. Thomas
    11/02/2009

    The media will never hold his feet to the fire in regards to Geithner being “more of the same.” Geithner will just take a cue from Obama’s play book. First, blame bush. Second, use the word bipartisanship a lot and I mean a lot. Third, tell stupid stories about people who live in Elkart Indiana over and over again until your head feels like it is going to explode. Fourth find a Republican who will “cross the aisle” or sell his soul for stimulus crack to endorse you. He’ll get away with it, all the while with Chris Mathews kissing his butt.

  2. Ginni
    11/02/2009

    It’s incredible how willing the media is to blow off stories like this one for fear of offending their idol. Obama is held to a much different standard than a President should be.

  3. 24/02/2010

    My econ-101 professor once said that if you ask an economist how to open a can of beans he will say, “First, you assume you have a can opener.” This bozo wrote a whole article based on his assumption for a multiplier ratio, which he never justified. And the WSJ published it! Oh, for the days of Vermont Royser.

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