Geithner to Become Treasury Secretary

Oh dear. As reader Marshall said, “Well, it’s not Summers…it’s even worse.”

I had really hoped for Volcker. That would have been 1000 points on the Dow, and more important, he is the only one I can think of who has the stature to negotiate with our friendly foreign funding sources about the future of the dollar. I have it from someone supposedly very well plugged in that he was offered the job and the Obama crowd was trying to persuade him to take it for a year.

From MarketWatch:

Sen. Hillary Clinton, New York Federal Reserve President Tim Geithner and former Energy Secretary Bill Richardson have all accepted posts in President-elect Barack Obama’s cabinet, according to media reports. Clinton accepted the position of secretary of state, the New York Times reported. Richardson is in line to become Commerce secretary and Geithner was picked to be Treasury secretary, NBC News reported

The markets, however, are taking it better than I am. From Bloomberg:

U.S. stocks rose and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rebounded from an 11-year low as NBC News reported President-elect Barack Obama will nominate New York Federal Reserve Bank chief Timothy Geithner to head the Treasury.

Citigroup Inc. pared a 35 percent slide and JPMorgan Chase & Co. trimmed a 16 percent tumble after the report. National- Oilwell Varco Inc. and Chesapeake Energy jumped more than 12 percent as crude advanced for the first time in six days. The rally in the S&P 500 came after this week’s rout dragged its valuation to 16.4 times the reported earnings of its companies, the cheapest since 1995.

The S&P 500, which is poised for a third-straight weekly decline, gained 2.7 percent to 772.83 at 3:20 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 242.84 points, or 3.2 percent, to 7,795.13, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 1.6 percent to 1,337.76.

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  1. S

    it is shocking that this guy would be picked. If the banking system and the fed were a company these guys would have been fired. This guy has been an understudy of the the very guy who barring Greenspan is most responsible for where we are. Ironic as city tanks another 20% today.

    Yet again another establishment guy. this is not change. If we had a media with an iota of intellect that change bs would have been dismissed a long time ago.

    More of the same.

  2. Bob_in_MA

    I sure hope he brings along the NY Feds recent hire of the head of Bear Stearn’s risk management!

  3. PeakVT

    Volker is 81. I can’t blame him for turning the job down, especially now. All stress and long hours.

  4. Anonymous

    Volcker is a close, close advisor to Obama. His voice will be heard.

    What exactly is the criticism of Geithner? Just that he’s an understudy to a bad actor, like the first commenter pointed out? That’s not much of a criticism.

  5. VoiceFromTheWilderness

    Well I don’t have any personal information as to whether he is a good choice or not. It sounds like a business as usual choice, which is trouble.

    But I can say that it hilarious that the market is up on this news. Seems like ‘the market’ think this means more bailouts, and more interest rate cuts to prop up the market. ‘cept those bailout and interest rate cuts haven’t worked… And hence by implication there’s a lot of people that still haven’t learned a thing.

  6. Lune

    3 criticisms:

    1) He’s out of his league. Say what you will about Bernanke, but he was and still is an enormously respected economist.

    2) He’s unproven in a time of crisis, especially compared to a guy like Volcker but even compared to a guy like Rubin, who has been through the Asian, Mexican, and Russian crises during his tenure.

    3) As chief of the NY Fed, he’s basically supposed to be Wall St.’s servant / representative during Fed meetings. I don’t know if I want such a thoroughly captured guy as Tres. Secretary. We don’t want a Hank Paulson redux.

  7. Anonymous

    Geithner will be on a very short leash. There will be none of the delegation of EVERYTHING to Treasury like Bush has done with Paulson (though I can’t wait for the tell-all books that show Cheney pulling strings in the background – is there any other way to explain why Paulson looks like an idiot everytime he opens his mouth? He’s worse than Colin Powell at the UN. And we now know why Powell was an idiot then – he had no choice but be a good soldier while the neocons fiddled while Baghdad burned).

    Geithner is a great choice because he is somewhat free from the Paulson/Bernanke crowd though he was a participant in a lot of the closed-door discussions. So he knows the history and how we arrived at the very bad situation we are in. He may not have the brainpower and political acumen to get us out of it, but he won’t be expected to do that all alone. Obama is building a deep bench and Geithner will have his name on the door but there will be a lot of adults in the room with him

  8. ndk

    The Teat of Wall Street at the helm of Treasury. I find this extremely disheartening and will reduce my exposure to the USD as much as possible.

  9. Anonymous

    Still have no idea why any of those who say he is a bad choice have come to this conclusion. The reasons given above seem more emotional that rational. More light, less heat please.

  10. Tortoise

    Let us wish secretary-elect Geithner good luck and, most of all, the courage to make the Fed apply massive quantitative easing in ways it help those we need the help most (I do not mean the CEO of Citi). Geithner seems to know something about the markets but, frankly, it is political will that is needed here. I hope that Geithner’s marching instructions are to take bold actions.

  11. burrite

    Well, actually think Tim seems pretty smart. But I guess I’d say that as this crisis has unfolded, he’s been the co-author (with Ben) of the alphabet soup of credit extensions all aimed at treating the financial sector’s problem of one of liquidity rather than solvency. Since the LEH and AIG meltdowns this summer, I think it’s become clear to almost everyone that the problem is solvency, not liquidity.

    Geithner did not seem to be quick to recognize this distinction as it unfolded. And it is easy to see that his closeness to the mgmt’s of the big broker/dealers may have been the cause. Certainly, Fuld, O’Neal et al believed until the end that the problem was liquidity (what is that quote about it being impossible to get a man to understand something that his paycheck depends upon him not understanding?).

    I’m not surprised the market liked the choice (though the market may just have liked the fact of Obama showing his presence…I think folks had started to worry about his ultra-low-profile this week), but hard to say if they should. For what it’s worth, the markets would have HATED my choice (Barney Frank)…but I think Barney would have been a great choice. Deep understanding of the issues, deep understanding of Main St, no ties whatsoever to GS or rest of Wall St.

  12. S

    Geithner is a Rubin protege. If that is what counts for adult then we are in trouble. Rubin and his policies to include capital account surplus & strong dollar are the very reason we stand here today. greenspan aided and abbetted on the monetary side but Rubin was the man behind the policies that exacerbated the hot money flows. So Geithner is not nearly as independent as he appears. he talks a big game about regulation etc but where was he for the past decade while the process unfolded? he talks about structural imablances and their perverse imapct on the risk premiums in the market/credit spreads – yet no pre emptive moves to stem the leverage outgrowth of such flows. Indeed those capital flows are at the heart of the "new economy." Or should we say were the fulcrum of the plan.

    Litse to Whitehead, a GS head,he gets it. There is no solution. If Geithner was the solutioon or had the fix why did C selloff into the close.

    On the positive side: (1) he is articulate (a change); (2) he is versed in the culture and politics of Asia (although paulson was there many times hat in hand too) when the dollar crisi hits; (3) he is not averse to regulating the banks and sees this as critical in a global economy; (4) he doesn;t appear to be an egomaniac.

  13. Tortoise

    Maybe, on his last day at the Fed, Geithner can buy 3 trillion dollars of bonds of all types, … OK, just a crazy idea. :)

  14. harrumph

    He’s totally in the pocket of ‘establishment’ Wall Street – from what I recall he was instrumental in the LTCM bailout of ten years ago…and we can all see how much was learned from that fiasco.

    Has not made any of his own serious money yet, so his independence from that perspective at least is compromised, assuming he will one day want a job on the Street or whatever is left of it.

    The teat comment is aposite, he has known better than anyone what has been going on over the past several years at the big players such as Bear, Lehman and MS and definitely did nothing to try to avoid the current crisis. Unless you count those ridiculous Fed studies, some like this:

    Counterparty Risk Management Policy Group III – HomeContaining Systemic Risk: The Road to Reform The Report of the CRMPG III – August 6, 2008. Full Report [PDF, 592KB]. Transmittal Letter [PDF, 74KB] …

    The lawyer I worked for at the former Lehman worked on a lot of these time-wasters as a Number Two to our former General Counsel/Counsel to the Board of Directors/Famous Davos Reporter, Tom Russo. They couldn’t churn out this drivel fast enough. A lot of platitudes, none of which, by the way, were ever even followed at the insider-y banks who spouted them.

    WHAT a joke. Anyone who even raised the idea of legal acting as a meaningful risk control function for the business in the former Lehman legal department had his head bitten off. Most of this team is now at Barclays.

    Here’s another Fed-sanctioned beauty:

    [PDF] In January of 1999, in the wake of the near demise of the hedge …File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
    Counterparty Risk Management Policy Group II: OTC Documentation. Practices in a Changing Risk Environment. By Zdenka Seiner Griswold. Introduction …

    If only we could get back the trees that were sacrificed in the publication and marketing of this drivel!!!

  15. a

    Let’s hope he grows into the job.

    Don’t read too much into the equity markets. It’s Friday, with next week on reduced volume (Japan closed on Monday, U.S. closed on Thursday and pretty close to it on Friday), a small movement up forces everyone to short cover and, without many of the hedgies providing liquidity, the movement gets amplified.

  16. Independent Accountant

    Obama’s first term may be Bill Clinton’s third. Apparently Geithner is one of Robert Rubin’s boys. At least Geithner is not a Goldman Sachs alumnus. However, his “rabbi”, Rubin, is! Democrats, Republicans, it’s all the same. The Goldman Sachs party wins!

  17. Anonymous

    Geithner’s fingerprints are all over the Bear Stearns takeover. That to me is reason enough to worry.

  18. Anonymous

    I read that Geithner worked for Kissinger and Associates after grad school. If true, his career will be a brilliant ascent to wealth and power with destruction
    in his wake. I voted for Obama. Kick me in the ass. I deserve it.

  19. Anonymous

    burrite wrote:

    For what it’s worth, the markets would have HATED my choice (Barney Frank)…but I think Barney would have been a great choice. Deep understanding of the issues, deep understanding of Main St, no ties whatsoever to GS or rest of Wall St.

    Yeah, right… no ties at all:
    Contributor Total
    State Street Corp $20,000
    UBS Americas $14,100
    FMR Corp $13,750
    JP Morgan Chase & Co $13,500
    UBS AG $13,500
    Nixon Peabody LLP $12,670
    Ernst & Young $11,750
    Citigroup Inc $11,250
    Human Rights Campaign $11,250
    Washington Mutual $11,000
    PricewaterhouseCoopers $10,250
    American Assn for Justice $10,000
    American Land Title Assn $10,000
    Credit Union National Assn $10,000
    KPMG LLP $10,000
    Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance $10,000
    Mortgage Bankers Assn $10,000
    National Assn of Home Builders $10,000
    National Assn of Mortgage Brokers $10,000
    Natl Assn Real Estate Investment Trusts $10,000
    Natl Assn/Insurance & Financial Advisors $10,000
    New York Life Insurance $10,000

  20. ndk

    This just in on CNBC: “Obama Likely to Consider Summers to Succeed Bernanke”

    This will make the next few years interesting.

  21. Anonymous

    Perfect – more of the same. A Goldman Sachs mentored Central banker – the most valuable kind. Just like we have here in Canada. You can be sure he will service Wall Street well.

    There is no change anymore just the status quo. Apparently the ballot box didn’t do it. The only way will be torches and pitchforks. But when the US public finally gets off their butts – it will be way too late.

    They are like Paulson – its all good…then when the sh!t hits the fan, its a panic to do anything that might work.


  22. Building & Grounds

    I can’t believe how the cheerleaders in the mainstream media have celebrated the appointment of Geithner. I certainly doubt the appointment is the reason for the jump in the Dow at the end of the day. I believe it was more the result of the President’s Working Group. Why would anyone want to buy anything in this market? I hope President Obama is truthful with us and I hope he stops the manipulation that has been going on for some time now.

  23. Carlo Pontifier

    Agreed that Volcker would’ve been da bomb as SecTreas, but maybe he’s on tap as Fed chairman? If Obama plans to replace Bernanke, his pick has to be an ultra-heavyweight to win Senate confirmation. Senate repubs are unlikely to be too enthused about switching horses mid-crisis. Volcker is about the only name I can think of that would sail through the Senate. Summers could have trouble winning confirmation as Fed chair. We shall see.

  24. mmdonner

    slightly aside…the idea, as reported in bloomberg and repeated ad nausium on TV now..that the market went up at the end of the day because of their applause of the choice of Geithner is off base and typical of the MSM always trying to personalize the situation. If only this person or that person. ya, they make some differences, but really!!
    the market went up, i believe more importantly, the big players had to deal with OPTIONS expire issues by the end of the day and needed higher price point for settlements. but don’t tell anyone, it will blow some of their cover.

  25. Juan


    yah, Mr neo-lib/toxic-waste-to-LDCs Summers makes perfect sense — we can but hope that Chiquita banana man Eric Holder gets the nod for attorney general (or has that already happened?)

    what a team!

  26. K Ackermann

    I sure hope he takes care.

    He is going to be dealing with the most crime-infested neighborhood on the planet.

    They should empty San Quentin prison onto Wall St. to spruce up the place.

  27. J. Lo

    burrite wrote:

    For what it’s worth, the markets would have HATED my choice (Barney Frank)…but I think Barney would have been a great choice. Deep understanding of the issues, deep understanding of Main St, no ties whatsoever to GS or rest of Wall St.

    Yeah, right… no ties at all:
    Contributor Total
    State Street Corp $20,000
    UBS Americas $14,100
    FMR Corp $13,750
    JP Morgan Chase & Co $13,500
    UBS AG $13,500
    Nixon Peabody LLP $12,670
    Ernst & Young $11,750
    Citigroup Inc $11,250
    Human Rights Campaign $11,250
    Washington Mutual $11,000
    PricewaterhouseCoopers $10,250
    American Assn for Justice $10,000
    American Land Title Assn $10,000
    Credit Union National Assn $10,000
    KPMG LLP $10,000
    Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance $10,000
    Mortgage Bankers Assn $10,000
    National Assn of Home Builders $10,000
    National Assn of Mortgage Brokers $10,000
    Natl Assn Real Estate Investment Trusts $10,000
    Natl Assn/Insurance & Financial Advisors $10,000
    New York Life Insurance $10,000

    LOL didn’t he also date a former Fannie Mae exec? Talk about “in bed” with Wall St.

  28. Anonymous

    What a sad day, too see how all the hope on Obama will turn into regrets.

    We will have tough years ahead.

  29. Anonymous

    I don’t care about Obama’s lame “Star Search” or what if anything they decide to do about fiscal / monetary / tax hooey.

    With JPM at $20, it seems to me the important question is bank management. I would very much appreciate more info on what the directors and executives of money center banks are planning to do, since it’s evident that govt is incapable of fixing anything.

  30. Anonymous

    Lets talk about hillary. Her foreign policy was the reason that I would not have voted for her. Faux news was of the opposite opinion, they wanted hillary over McCain. So what do we get? Just what no one wanted.

    Wait, she is going to be secretary of state? Change…sure.

  31. Mike Sankowski

    I disagree that TG is going to be bad or was a bad choice. He is going to be extremely good.

    1. He has given recent speeches on the need for a comprehensive regulatory structure and understands the issues. Until very recently, Greenspan was in charge of the fed, which had an idealogical hatred of more regulations and essentially refused to regulate no matter what the views of employees.

    2. Right now, he can act as the treasury secretary/ny fed chief during this time between now and the inauguration. This is an enormous help in current negotiations and in navigating the crisis as it unfolds.

    3. He is and will be a competent executor. Remember, we are comparing him with John Snow. John freakin’ Snow.

    4. Up to speed time: zero.
    Not only that, he will not be acting in a vacuum. He is going to have the attention of a competent president.

  32. Anonymous


    Per the comments above, Geithner has been captured completely by Wall Street.

    And the reforms you are touting? There is no substance there. You are referring to the Paulson program, which calls for an integrated structure under…..the Fed! No wonder Fed officials would be pimping for it.

    The Fed of ALL banking regulators has been the most asleep at the switch during the subprime mess. Even the banking-friendly OCC was vastly more tough minded. Even though the Fed in theory is the best overall regulator, its complete and utter disinclination to regulate leaves tons to be desired.

    Have you seen a single concrete proposal for reform come from Geithner, or anyone at the Fed? The only thing they have moved forward a bit is centralized clearing of CDS, but no deal is done there yet. It is a useful move, but falls vastly short of the sort of thinking we need now.

    And he cannot act as Treasury Secretary now. Obama made that clear, when he said there is only one president at a time, and refused to send anyone who was on the short list for Treasury to the G20 meeting on the 15th. Ditto when it comes to the Cabinet.

  33. John from Taos

    If he’s as conventional as some seem to fear, he will surely fail, because business-as-usual isn’t an option any longer. I think many will be surprised, however. Obama will lead. There will be policy. The secretaries will execute.

    The whole world will be watching. We will all be tied in through the Internet. This is not your father’s presidency.

  34. Anonymous

    The question is, is he a good liar?

    Q. Is the US banking system insolvent?
    A. Hell no

    Q. Are you monitizing the debt?
    A hell no

    Q.Will SS and Medicare pyments be substainable
    A Hell Yes fully funded

    Q.Will the budget be ballanced
    A.Hell yes

    Q. Does the US want a strong dollar?
    A. Hell Yes

    Your hired Mr. Mono. One of the same dipsticks that got us into this mess.

  35. Victor

    C’mon, everybody knows the financial system is still being gamed. Day after day we see broad market swings during the last hour of trading. Someone’s figured out a way to make money from such swings. This clearly had nothing to do with Geithner. When will people start thinking for themselves and stop behaving like sheep? Is that really too much to ask?

  36. Anonymous

    Maybe this is paranoia coming out, but it’s odd how the puzzle pieces are fitting together.

    1. Fed originates the bubble that causes the financial crisis.

    2. Banks and mortgage companies run into trouble. Some fall. Those outside of the Fed’s vision (investment banks) run into trouble as well. The Fed picks and chooses the ones it likes. They survive, but all come under the Fed’s loving umbrella.

    3. The economy crashes. Banks won’t lend to corporations. Massive layoffs will occur if the commercial paper market does not function.

    4. The Fed steps into the commercial paper market to keep the wages flowing. Corporations and small businesses become dependent upon the Fed for paying their employees.

    5. Election time. A new administration comes to power. The job of Treasury Secretary becomes available.

    6. Conveniently, the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve is chosen to be the new Treasury Secretary. Now the Fed has full control of the Nation’s purse.

    7. The two most powerful people on the Planet are both from the Federal Reserve. And they are both ideally positioned to control the nation.

    8. The role of President is superfluous .. a puppet-like figure-head.

    This has to be the most well-planned and patiently executed coup d’etats ever implemented in the history of the world.

    The Fed controls the money flow in every direction and will now soon control every aspect of the people’s purse. They own the banks. They own the mortgage companies. They own the salaries of the companies. They therefore own the people.

    Sure, it took more than a decade to do, but it worked. A bloodless coup. The President and Congress are helpless. If they balk, the Fed pulls out of their programs and life as we know it falls apart.

    If you move in really small steps over a long period of time, you can cook that frog without the frog even knowing it.

  37. datadave

    why were only three vetted? why all the previews of Summers, Geitner, and Volker? Change? bulls**t.

    alright, we do have to remember who was in control the last 8 years: The Decider. The new President still has a say in the matter. He, like FDR, picked yet another insider for Treasury and thus alas not all is lost. Geitner is at least perhaps more ideologically flexible than Morganthau or even Paulson…(who seems so indoctrinated in ‘laffer curvism’). Having a few Joe Kennedy’s around to help Obama manage the landscape might help. But most of us will suffer none the less. If the stimulus is too conservative…Great Depression 2 here we come. Still I don’t see any Keynesians around do you?

  38. Harrumph

    Barney Frank…oh yes, he who pronounced LIBOR as “Leebor” not even a year ago… .

    As for Joe Kennedy/original JPMorgan types…there are none…instead we have jokers like Soros and Buffett who just game the system for themselves. Who is a true altruist today? Not even Gates, I daresay. Maybe Pete Peterson.

  39. Fred

    Here is a quiz:

    Who gave this speech in March 2007 just before the Credit Crisis took hold:

    Credit Markets Innovations and Their Implications

    “The past few years have seen remarkable changes in credit markets, and this is a good time to take stock of what we know about those developments and their implications.

    The latest wave of credit market innovations has elicited some concerns about their implications for the stability of the financial system, concerns similar to those associated with earlier periods of rapid change in financial markets. Will the most recent credit market innovations amplify credit cycles, contributing to “excessive” lending in times of relative stability, and then magnify the contraction in credit that follows? Will they introduce greater volatility in financial markets? Will they create greater risk of systemic financial crisis?

    These concerns have been heightened in some quarters by the problems currently being experienced in the subprime mortgage sector. It will take some time before the full implications are understood and the full impact can be assessed. As of now, though, there are few signs that the disruptions in this one sector of the credit markets will have a lasting impact on credit markets as a whole.

    Indeed, economic theory and recent practical experience offer some reassurance against both these specific concerns and more general worries about the implications of credit market innovations for the performance of the financial system…”

    Click here for Full Text of Speech and the answer

  40. Fred

    Part II of the quiz:

    Who gave this speech in March 2007 just before the Credit Crisis took hold:

    ” At this juncture, however, the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime market seems likely to be contained.”

    Answer: Click here for the answer

  41. Dave

    Change? Solutions? Nope. Another burnished and polished stool pigeon in the gilded cage of power.

    The problem with vested interests, is even when their time in history has passed, they will not gracefully exit, they will never acknowledge how they have killed and cooked the goose the goose that laid their eggs.

    Is it truly unfortunate the banking & Wall St crowd have, in their greed, opened the stopcocks and are now, knowingly or unknowingly, now scuttling the ship of Debt based finance?

    Debt based fiat money reached its peak. Change is coming to global monetary systems. Exchange your fiat monetary and bid valued "assets" for those items of real value that will sustain you and yours in the coming hard times.

    And they do look nasty.

  42. Anonymous

    Seems telling Congress the $29bn to Bear Stearns was a loan while knowing it was a purchase is an actual prosecutable offense.

    Not that we worry about silly little things like violating laws any more.

  43. Anonymous

    Give Geithner a chance.
    Besides his MA in Int'l Economics, experience in the Treasury Dept. & IMF, he can be understood much better than Hank, will transition well, and will work well with Bernanke.
    Lehman was Hanks fault, not Tim's.

  44. FairEconomist

    Geithner is better than Summers. “Failing to fix the problem” is a much milder indictment than “helping cause it.” I think Geithner would be a good choice for implementing policy. However, I think he’s a bad choice for choosing policy. Bernanke is obviously pretty lost these days, chasing incompatible goals, and he talks to Geithner all the time. So Geithner must not have a good grasp of the situation either.

  45. Anonymous

    Who else but Geithner to handle the Citigroup bailout and all the other shoes that might drop between now and the January inauguration? He’s already on the job, as it were, and hopefully wiser from having participated in the Lehman fiasco. In a sense, an important part of Obama’s economic team has already taken office. We simply can’t afford interregnum paralysis for the next two months.

    Volcker could never do it. At 81 years old he surely doesn’t have the stamina for the whirlwind of all-nighter weekend emergency sessions. And it would break his heart to merely watch, much less preside over, the undoing of his greatest achievement when the US government finally runs out of options and lets the dogs of inflation loose.

  46. luther

    thanks for the read fred.

    as i read it in light of current events, it's almost like mr. geithner is having an internal war with his intuition in this speech. i thought he laid out the situation quite well (and accurately predicted the problems & where they would come from).

    of course, like a loyal employee always does, he resorts to 'talking the Fed's book' in that summary paragraph. but after laying everything out in the way he did, it's almost like that last paragraph is a halfhearted afterthought.

    did he believe it at the time? perhaps he wanted to.
    does he now?
    ahhhh, that is the question.

    and always the question of who he will work for? but that is not only a question of him, but the entire administration…for good reason.

    maybe it's up to us to continue to remind them, but also offer them the respect of allowing them to begin to act before we judge them on what our assumptions of how we think they are going to act.

    and this comes right after i attended the END THE FED rally so i say this in full understanding and respect for the dissenting views.

    if nothing else, that he's there now and is intimately involved in the inner circle, his appointment will make the current crooks think twice about setting any traps.

    just trying to look on the bright side.

  47. luther

    p.s. juan, si, that chiquita case is quite disturbing.

    dude’s got explaining to do for sure.

    if he doesn’t, he might be slipping on a few banana peels laid out by some roosting chickens.

  48. Anonymous

    “We need oversight,'' Paulson told lawmakers. “We need protection. We need transparency. I want it. We all want it.''

    At a joint House-Senate hearing the next day, Bernanke also stressed the importance of openness in the program. “Transparency is a big issue,'' he said…

    The Fed lent cash and government bonds to banks, which gave the Fed collateral in the form of equities and debt, including subprime and structured securities such as collateralized debt obligations, according to the Fed web site. The borrowers have included the now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

    Banks oppose any release of information because it might signal weakness and spur short-selling or a run by depositors, said Scott Talbott, senior vice president of government affairs for the Financial Services Roundtable, a Washington trade group.

    “You have to balance the need for transparency with protecting the public interest,'' Talbott said. “Taxpayers have a right to know where their tax dollars are going, but one piece of information standing alone could undermine public confidence in the system.''…

    “I talk to Geithner and he was pretty sure that they're OK,'' said [Barney] Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat. “If the risk is that the Fed takes a little bit of a haircut, well that's regrettable.'' Such losses would be acceptable, he said, if the program helps revive the economy….

    Revealing how the Fed values collateral could help thaw frozen credit markets, said Ron D'Vari, chief executive officer of NewOak Capital LLC in New York and the former head of structured finance at BlackRock Inc…

    “As a taxpayer, it is absolutely important that we know how they're lending money and who they're lending it to,'' said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Arlington, Virginia- based Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

  49. luther

    after hearing about summers, i take back everything i said above.


    anyone know how to call out the black swan brigade?

Comments are closed.