Economics

If Geithner Is a Lemon, Make Lemonade

|

Obama has one big lemon hanging around his neck that he can't shake off. And that is Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the ethically challenged man Obama put in charge of economic recovery. Geithner, as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, helped design the AIG and other bailouts. It is as much Geithner's responsibility as anyone that almost no information is available on where $360 billion in money went, and who got bonuses. This indispensable man couldn't manage to send anyone from Treasury to testify at a House hearing on why bailout funds went to banks that already owed $220 million in unpaid federal taxes.

That's the Buffalo News' Douglas Turner. More here.

Geithner is supposed to give specifics today on the gummint's plan to soak up toxic assets. Rots 'o ruck on that one.

NEXT: Obama: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Toxic assets are the poison in our financial system. Poisons are bad and need to be removed.

    Obama wants to remove the poision and the extreme Right wants to put it back.

    Just watch his interview from 60 Min. and you will see, all he wants to do is help. Trashing him hinders the recovery.

  2. Obama wants to remove the poision and the extreme Right wants to put it back.

    No. The compulsive-collectivists want to force taxpayers to buy them at historical value in order to reward bad business practices, which locks in the risk and ensures inflation of fiat money and government scope; the leave-me-the-fuck-alones want the businesses to survive and fail on their merits, which allows the assets’ prices to adjust to their perceived risk.

    the ethically challenged man Obama put in charge of

    Isn’t that the theme song of the administration? Sung by Milli Vanilli to the tune of Welcome Back, Kotter.

  3. Yo, fuck Timothy Geithner.

    Nick, is your headline meant to say that Geithner ought to be squeezed until his pulpy insides burst and run out all over the place? Because i could kind of get behind that.

  4. #

    How do you do that?

  5. Heckuva Job Timmy!!!!11!!

  6. …on the gummint’s plan to soak up toxic assets.

    Just wait till someone makes money on this hairbone scheme. Another round of 90% taxation, anyone?

    Damn I hope people are cured of this “We need to punish! Vote against!” crap for all time.

  7. Obama has a large staff of economic advisors, for better or worse. The position of Treasury Secretary can be a mere conduit for Administration policy. The benefits for the Administration of keeping Geithner in that role are twofold:

    1) Replacing him would symbolically cause more policy uncertainty and Wall Street turbulence, even if it made 0% real policy difference.

    2) As a holdover from the last Administration, he’s a symbolic reminder that this mess didn’t start on Obama’s watch. Supremely spin-conscious as Obama is, I have to think that has some importance for him.

  8. Just wait till someone makes money on this hairbone scheme.

    Tom Maguire has an interesting back-of-the-envelope look at how the leverage and non-recourse loans set up the private participants so that this will be a helluva deal for them, almost no matter what.

  9. The problem isn’t Timothy Geithner. The problem is in thinking that any one person could micromanage the largest economy of the world and get perfect, or even better than average, results. By all accounts, Geithner is a smart guy who knows his economics. But no one knows as much as millions of individuals all acting in their own rational self-interest.

    The world’s smartest meteorologist couldn’t control the weather even if he had the super-natural ability to adjust the world’s thermostat and humidifier. There’s too many other factors to account for, to many unintended and unknown consequences. We’re basically asking the Treasury Secretary to manage a system that’s just as complex.

  10. Today, my heart is breaking over this. But I shudder to think what the Republicans (if in charge) would have done. Different? No, but their public relations would be infinitely better.

  11. No, but their public relations would be infinitely better.

    You might be overestimating McCain’s charm. I mean, he is a douche sandwich, after all. Though it wouldn’t have smelled of corporate Marxism quite as much, which I guess would make it more publicly palatable…

    So we got that going for us, which is nice.

  12. Damn I hope people are cured of this “We need to punish! Vote against!” crap for all time.

    Au contraire, dude. The problem is not *too much* change, it’s *too little*.

  13. Could I prevail on the Reason staff to start a countdown to the 2010 mid-terms?

  14. Wow, it’s almost like Obama has zero experience running anything… oh, right.

  15. Umbriel says
    “2) As a holdover from the last Administration, he’s a symbolic reminder that this mess didn’t start on Obama’s watch. Supremely spin-conscious as Obama is, I have to think that has some importance for him.”

    Geithner is not a holdover from the last administration, he was President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank which is not an Bush Administration position. He was voted into the position by the a system of 9 votes, 6 of those votes are directly controlled by the banks that the New York Federal Reserve Bank “regulates”. So Geithner is just a puppet of the FED banking cartel, in this case the New York Federal Reserve Bank and its “regulated” banks

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.