Monday, December 07, 2009
In a Bloomberg interview late last week, now hosted over at the Huffington Post, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says that none of the big banks or Wall Street firms would have survived last year if the government had simply let the crisis run its course.
This is in contrast to claims made by Goldman chief Lloyd Blankfein in a Vanity Fair interview that the Vampire Squid would have made it through without any help at all.
Here's the excerpt:
HUNT: You were the head of the New York Fed, right in the middle of the crisis a little over a year ago. Some Goldman Sachs executives have recently said their firm would have been okay without the Federal assistance and the Federal Reserve and others last year. Is that your view?Maybe Goldman ought to double, triple, or quadruple that $500 million image-rebuilding donation to the rest of America that they recently extracted from their bonus pool.
GEITHNER: My view is this.
HUNT: Did Goldman Sachs need the Federal government fourteen months ago?
GEITHNER: The entire U.S. financial system and all the major firms in the country and even small banks across the country were at that moment at the middle of a classic run - a classic bank run.
HUNT: So they would have been at risk (inaudible)?
GEITHNER: I think the system was at risk and the big institutions were not - none of them would have survived a situation in which we had let that fire try to burn itself out.