Tim Geithner

Today's Foundation, Tomorrow's Crisis: The Geithner-Summers Proposals
June 15, 2009

Writing in the Washington Post this morning, Tim Geithner and Larry Summers outline a five point plan for dealing with the underlying problems in our financial system, titled "A New Financial Foundation."  The authors are not completely clear on what they think caused the current crisis, but you can back out some points from their reasoning--and the implicit view seems quite at odds with reality. Their view: Regulation is overly focused on safety and soundness of individual banks. Reality: There was a complete failure of safety and soundness supervision.  This must be fundamental to any financ

Free Larry Summers
April 01, 2009

On a typical day, Larry Summers, the top White House economic adviser, sits in his office overlooking the Rose Garden and receives a near-endless succession of aides working on a stunning variety of issues. In a single, several-hour bloc, Summers might have meetings on housing, the auto industry, health care, technology policy, and the financial crisis, all of which he’s exploring in subatomic detail.

Heavy Vetting
April 01, 2009

Well, that wore off fast. When Barack Obama strode into town in January, he brought with him a great wave of idealism. Inspired by the president and his "call to service," America's best and brightest mused aloud in their faculty lounges, law office suites, and investment banks about how they would gladly sacrifice their financial interests to serve their country. Flash forward to early spring. Large blocks of government offices sit unfilled and critical jobs--those involved in managing the global economy, for example--go unperformed.

Free Larry Summers
April 01, 2009

Why the White House needs to unshackle its economic oracle.

Crack For Wonks
March 24, 2009

Political prediction markets are usually pretty boring during electoral off-years. When they're not trading on control of the White House and Congress, websites like InTrade and the Iowa Electronic Markets tend to focus on banalities like the movie Twilight's opening box office take or the likelihood of Danny Gokey winning "American Idol," thus alienating their core audience of politicos in favor of the teen demographic.

The Geithner Disaster
March 20, 2009

Being Treasury secretary is usually not a job that calls for great political skills. But with a banking crisis crippling the economy and threatening to turn a recession into a depression, Tim Geithner has been plunged into the center of politics--as both the person responsible for what the administration should do, and as the main exponent of that policy. But he has faltered in crafting an effective policy and failed miserably in putting it forward.

Plan B
March 18, 2009

What's stopping Tim Geithner?

Spitzer V. Geithner
March 17, 2009

Eliot Spitzer returns to his role of Wall Street scourge with this Slate column about AIG, but his real target, it seems, is Tim Geithner: Here are several questions that should be answered, in public, under oath, to clear the air: What was the precise conversation among Bernanke, Geithner, Paulson, and Blankfein that preceded the initial $80 billion grant? Was it already known who the counterparties were and what the exposure was for each of the counterparties?

Another Semi-defense Of, Ahem, Tim Geithner
March 09, 2009

It is, to massively understate the point, not exactly popular to defend Tim Geithner these days. And I certainly have concerns about what he's up to, and the direction the financial rescue is headed. But I think it's worth making at least one broad point on the guy's behalf. (God knows he could use it. When was the last time SNL not only parodied a Treasury secretary, but did it in a sketch that was funny?)  At the risk of sounding trite, I'd just say it's pretty easy for me and other commentators to insist that some form of nationalization is the only possible solution to the bank crisis.

The N-Word
February 18, 2009

In the brief weeks that Barack Obama has been president, the n-word has been heard with startling frequency in Washington. We're talking about “nationalization,” of course. The plight of the country's banks has become so severe that the GOP’s incessant cries of “socialism” during last year's campaign, so ridiculous then, suddenly seem too mild a description for the prospect we face.