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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Question for New Treasury Secretary

James Pethokoukis blogs on Money and Politics for Us News and World Report at Capital Commerce. He came to my attention through Rush Limbaugh and I'm glad to have become acquainted with his writing. He's quite sensible, perhaps even conservative, though it's not obviously so. What I enjoy most is the relative absence of econ jargon that so many others, say a Larry Kudlow, employ in making their points. Sometimes you just want to get the overview of what's going on and stay out of the weeds.

Anyway, today he takes a critical look at the new Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner. He poses a number of serious questions, saving the most pointed for last:
"Mr. Geithner, the job of the New York Fed is to -- now I am quoting its own web site -- 'supervise and regulate financial institutions in the Second District [Wall Street]. Its primary objective is to maintain safe and competitive U.S. and global banking systems.' You have been in your current post since 2003 and during that time the U.S. financial system has come close to complete disintegration. Why do you deserve a promotion?"
Geithner has been at the epicenter of the financial disaster, facilitating it either through neglect or reckless intervention. Geithner is getting great press - it was suggested that the stock market soared upon the announcement of his appointment. It's great to have Pethokoukis around to keep things just a little bit honest.

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Blogger Right Hook said...

A little bit honest is as good as we can hope for with the incoming administration and congress.

11/26/2008 1:02 PM  
OpenID lovemissbailey said...

I had high hopes for this Geithner fellow. I believed all the good press he was getting ... now I'm feeling a bit dejected. Is he just another illuminati clan member who got too much hype? Maybe, but I think I'll stay optimistic.

11/28/2008 9:59 PM  
Blogger Thrifty Scot said...

lovemissbailey... is there an appointee to the new administration who HASN'T gotten great press? The media, when reporting on the Obama economic team, assume that a fix for our economic ills is a given - it's not IF these people can right the ship, but WHEN they'll turn things around. (If only that damn Bush guy would just step aside immediately, happy days would return sooner, you see...)

I don't know that Geithner is all that bad... another Obama appointee, Cynthia Romer, is something of a taxcutter. I just don't remember this level of praise for Bush's nominees from the media. There's a lot of hype.

It's helpful to get a more balanced picture of the people who will be driving policy. Obama could have done worse than Geithner, but let's not lower the bar too far.

12/01/2008 9:28 AM  

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