Wikinvest Wire

Geithner meltdown ahead?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The side-by-side photos shown below first appeared here back in January when it was learned that The Treasury Secretary used TurboTax on tax returns years ago, failing to report a significant amount of income, only correcting the mistake as his nomination hearing neared.
IMAGE Seven months ago, these thoughts were offered:

I don't know. If you ask me, Tim Geithner still looks an awful lot like Billy Bibbit (played by Brad Dourif) from the 1976 classic One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
After a disastrous first major press conference that suffered from an unwarranted build-up by newly elected President Obama, Geithner seemed to have righted the ship for a few months there up until recently.

During the spring, he had gradually gained the respect of both the media and Congress in many public appearances where he not only grew more comfortable in front of lights, cameras, and tough questions, but he actually seemed to take command during much more dogged interchanges.

That seemed to work pretty well, up until his trip to China where normally respectful college students laughed loudly at his assertions that the U.S. dollar was a good long-term investment.

There may be a few other incidents that have contributed to the recent downward spiral, but this clip from the Daily Show last week certainly didn't help the Treasury Secretary's cause:

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Now, word comes via this story($) in today's Wall Street Journal (a story that, for some reason, appeared on the front-page of the West Coast print edition but was relegated to page 4 of the national edition), that Geithner let rip with a foul mouthed tirade directed toward FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair and SEC chief Mary Shapiro who have balked at the Obama administration's regulatory reform plans that include giving even more power to the Federal Reserve.

From the Journal:
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner blasted top U.S. financial regulators in an expletive-laced critique last Friday as frustration grows over the Obama administration's faltering plan to overhaul U.S. financial regulation, according to people familiar with the meeting.

The proposed regulatory revamp is one of President Barack Obama's top domestic priorities. But since it was unveiled in June, the plan has been criticized by the financial-services industry, as well as by financial regulators wary of encroachment on their turf.

Mr. Geithner told the regulators Friday that "enough is enough," said one person familiar with the meeting. Mr. Geithner said regulators had been given a chance to air their concerns, but that it was time to stop, this person said.

Among those gathered in the Treasury conference room were Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair.

Friday's roughly hourlong meeting was described as unusual, not only because of Mr. Geithner's repeated use of obscenities, but because of the aggressive posture he took with officials from federal agencies generally considered independent of the White House. Mr. Geithner reminded attendees that the administration and Congress set policy, not the regulatory agencies.
The thought of Geithner laying into this group during a Washington D.C., oak table setting is odd enough, but with the absence of a video tape, my mind naturally avers to the imagery of Billy Bibbit delivering the expletive-filled tirade.

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Anonymous said...

Those Daily Show videos require third party cookies, which are not allowed by the security software on my computer. I am sure I am not alone. Maybe one of these days Daily Show will figure that out.

bevo said...

Redrawing lines on an organizational chart is not what is required. This proposal smacks of Bush's responses to 9/11. What is the difference between the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Consumer Financial Protection?

How about this approach: enforce the regulations you have on the book. If actual enforcement proves ineffective, then we can try something else. Since we stopped enforcing the rules for the past 28 years, let's try enforcing them for a while and see what happen.s

Anonymous said...

The Secretary of the Treasury should not lower himself to using foul language and making threats. That's Rahm Emmanuel's job.

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