December 30, 2009
In a year when the government enacted one of its largest-ever stimulus bills, guaranteed hundreds of billions of dollars in bank debt, bought hundreds of billions more in mortgage-backed securities, took 60 percent ownership of one car company and put up billions in financing for another, it’s not obvious why you’d dwell on an initiative that basically cost nothing.
Geithner on the Populist Backlash
December 24, 2009
There's an interesting back-and-forth between Dan Gross and Tim Geithner in Newsweek's year-end interview issue: GROSS: There have been, and continue to be, calls for you to go. How do you deal with those? GEITHNER: I spent most of my professional life in this building. Watching the politics of the things we did in the past financial crises in Mexico and Asia had a powerful effect on me. The surveys were 9-to-1 against almost everything that helped contain the damage.
Geithner's Talks Tough on Wall St. Reform
December 02, 2009
I wrote a piece last week about how, as recently as six weeks ago, Wall Street was punching big holes through Congress's efforts to regulate derivatives, the financial instruments at the center of last fall's crisis. But, over the last month or so, a variety of progressive groups, working with Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler, the country's chief derivatives regulator, have fought to seal those holes.
Arianna Huffington Breaks Bread With ... Tim Geithner?
December 02, 2009
Interesting nugget in yesterday's Playbook that I meant to highlight at the time: SPOTTED: Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Arianna Huffington (who has been très critical) enjoying red wine and an off-the-record dinner last night at Central Michel Richard. That would of course be the same Arianna Huffington who, back in March, dashed off a column entitled "Take the Steering Wheel Out of Geithner's Hands," which included such rhetorical air kisses as: But the issue isn't Geithner's delivery, it's what he's delivering: an approach to the crisis that is as toxic as the assets that have hamstru
Rahm Taking Direct Interest in Reg Reform
October 29, 2009
Earlier today, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was up at the House Financial Services Committee testifying on the administration's proposal for dealing with threats to the financial system ("Too Big To Fail," etc.). One day earlier, he and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel held a closed-door meeting with Democrats on the committee to field questions about the proposal and urge them to hang together. For Rahm, it was at least the second time this week he'd participated in an event with top Treasury officials.
Geithner and Summers, From the Baseline
October 13, 2009
Just wanted to engage in a little crass self-promotion for those who come directly to The Stash, or who took the Internet off for Columbus Day: I have a piece in our current issue about the tennis-playing habits of the Obama economic team--Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, and Gene Sperling, et al--which, I half-seriously suggest, can be understood as a metaphor for their West Wing interactions.
October 12, 2009
Geithner and Summers go to tennis camp.
Explaining Geithner's Call Log
October 09, 2009
Simon Johnson raises a fair question in response to this AP scoop about the bankers Tim Geithner was in touch with early in the Obama administration. Here's the AP: The calendars, obtained by the AP under the Freedom of Information Act, offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the continued influence of three companies -- Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Tim Geithner's Small Circle of Friends
October 08, 2009
Over the past 30 years Wall Street captured the thinking of official Washington, persuading policymakers on both sides of the aisle not to regulate (derivatives), to deregulate (Gramm-Leach-Bliley), to not enforce existing safety and soundness regulations (VaR), and to stand idly by while millions of consumers were misled into life-ruining financial decisions (Alan Greenspan). This was pervasive cultural capture or, to be blunter, mind control. But when the crisis broke it was not enough. Having powerful people generally on your side is not what you need when all hell breaks loose in financia
Relitigating Summers and Bank Nationalization
October 05, 2009
There's been some teeth-gnashing in the liberal blogosphere over Ryan Lizza's New Yorker profile of Larry Summers, the general thrust of which is that he supposedly went too easy on Summers, particularly on the issue of bank nationalization. Here's Dean Baker over at his American Prospect blog: In terms of the bank bailout, some of us were worried that we were effectively taxing the whole country to support the rich bastards that put the economy in the toilet. Bank profits now stand at a record share of GDP and the bonuses at Goldman are as big as ever.