Timothy Geithner: He's Way Smarter Than You, and He Could Kick Your Ass


Of the awe-filled profiling of our treasury secretary there is no end, and the Atlantic has one this month that is so staggering in its scope, so wide in its perspicacity, so epic in its erudition, that one thing is for sure: you'll never get through the goddamn thing. (Full disclosure: I haven't yet either!)

So while I may have more to say later, I do have to point out my favorite part so far (after how it stresses a bit better than other Geithner profiles I recall how indebted his career is to having been anointed by Kissinger, for those who like to think about permanent entrenched elites):

In the course of many interviews about Geithner, two qualities came up again and again. The first was his extraordinary quickness of mind and talent for elucidating whatever issue was the preoccupying concern of the moment. Second was his athleticism. Unprompted by me, friends and colleagues extolled his skill and grace at windsurfing, tennis, basketball, running, snowboarding, and softball (specifying his prowess at shortstop and in center field, as well as at the plate). He inspires an adolescent awe in male colleagues.

It feels less than encouraging to me that this dude is surrounded entirely by sycophants who think he's not only, like, the smartest guy they've ever met, but could also likely whip their ass at any of the manly physical arts. However, let's remember the mantra of the Obama econ team: It could be woise!

NEXT: People Who Need To Be Punched: Baltimore Edition

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  1. It could be woise!

    That’s exactly what I’m afraid of.

  2. I knew it. He is “Eric” from Billy Madison.

    1. Damn it, I think you’re right. At least now we know his weakness.

  3. Totally unprompted. Totally. If he wasn’t so awesome I wouldn’t bring it up. Totally.


  4. his extraordinary quickness of mind and talent for elucidating whatever issue was the preoccupying concern of the moment

    Gee, can we get *him* to explain HCR?

  5. I guess after Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, Treasury Secretary’s had to get tough or die.

  6. Oh I thought this was the article that went with the headline “People who need to be punched”. My bad.

  7. I’d be happy to throw on a gi and participate in some friendly randori with him.

  8. It seems that my country needs me once again.

  9. I taught Geithner everything he knows.

    1. Geithner does ditto Hamilton, precisely. There’s a good explanation of Hamilton’s shenanigan’s (control the economy for the benefit of the few wealthy) v. Jefferson (freedom and rights for all) in Barry C. Lynn’s new book Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction.

  10. Geithner doesn’t strike me as “smart”, so much as “crafty”. I’m hoping that sooner or later, Alan Grayson, Bernie Sanders or some other left-wing anti-corporate type decides to snap him in half like a twig.


    1. If Grayson or Sanders were put on trial for snapping the’crafty’ treasury secretary in half, and I were on the jury, I’d vote for jury nullification.

      1. Synopsis of Geithner’s interview by Rachel Maddow:

        MADDOW: So, Timmy, you’ve learned your lesson, right?

        GEITHNER; [holding ball cap in hands, looking at studio floor] Yes’m. I’ll be good.

        MADDOW: Because we can’t have you misbehaving anymore. You’ll need to be punished if you don’t tow the liberal line from now on.

        GEITHNER: Yes’m.

        MADDOW: Good. I’ll tell Uncle Rahm to put the hickory switch away… for now.

        GEITHNER: [sobs softly and sucks thumb, rocking slightly] I’sowwy.

  11. My new hero.

  12. Tim Geithner: The New Chuck Norris.

  13. Good old Timmy! THIS is hilarious!

    “A Special Message From Turbine Tax – Tim Geithner Edition”

  14. ‘Geithner doesn’t strike me as “smart”, so much as “crafty”.’

    Which reminds me of a little poem (with apologies to the Beastie Boys):

    Well, Geithner came up to me ? said he’s new and bold
    But others said his ideas were tired and old
    I thought this might be true but I didn’t wanna know
    ‘Cause my learning curve was a little slow
    I think his name is Tim but his tax payments were Tiny
    I let him get away with it when he showed my something shiny
    The next think he said, “My place or yours?
    Let’s frame some policies behind closed doors!”

    He started kickin’ back in the Treasury
    And what he did then was something to see.
    I said, “I don’t know him just met him tonight.”
    My crew started hiding everything in sight
    They pulled me over, said, “Hide your gold,
    Geithner is crafty like ice is cold!”
    Geithner is crafty – he knows all the regs
    He drained the economy right down to the dregs.
    They thought he was a thief – and they were right
    But I was so taken in that I just didn’t fight
    When I woke up late he had fled the town
    He had taken everything that wasn’t nailed down
    I found myself broke in the middle of a recession
    He had plundered more loot than a raging Hessian.
    My income, my savings, my trust fund too
    Long story short, I was totally screwed.
    He robbed us blind ? he took all we owned
    And the boys blamed me for bringing him home.

  15. I’m not into gay porn, and I’m upset you guys just made me read some.

    1. Could be worse. At least it wasn’t Obama nude on a unicorn.


      1. I feel very dirty right now

      2. Or Pelosi not wearing a burqa.

  16. and yet, he can’t figure out his tax return

    1. Worse – he can’t figure out how to use TurboTax’s EZ interface.

  17. He looks like Beavis.

    1. That’s just wrong.

      He looks like Butthead.

  18. Welp, still not regretting my decision to not renew my Atlantic subscription.

    1. Same here. It used to be a great magazine.

  19. He invited a lot of bloggers over to protect himself. Now from the Lehman papers we know why.

  20. Yeah, I gagged on the “adolescent awe” thing myself. But if you do finish the article, you’ll learn that author Joshua Green beats up on Tim pretty well, from a leftie point of view, accusing him of basically being a running dog of Wall Street, which I guess he basically is.

  21. I’m upset you guys just made me read some.

    Be sure you don’t click on any of SugarFree’s links, then. Or read any of his comments.

  22. I could kick his ass.

  23. Government’s ass will not kiss itself, you know! That’s what a free and independent media is for.

  24. Perhaps he should make a run for the office of Supreme Leader of North Korea.

  25. Makes Geithner sound like a Randian superhuman.

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