Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Obama, What Are You Thinking

Mark my words, Obama will come to regret having picked Tim Geithner for Treasury Secretary. Yes, this is the same man who didn't see the crisis coming, who was New York Fed Chair during the onset of the crisis, who oversaw the collapse of Wall Street, who didn't seem to protest the Bush version of TARP, who was a protege of Robert Rubin, who helped to engineer this whole debacle at Clinton's Treasury and at Citibank, etc., etc., etc. Why in the world Obama would pick him with this track record is a mystery to me.

I want to give Obama the benefit of the doubt here, but I'm starting to have a problem doing that. He is smarter than this. Has he been bought off somehow, blackmailed, threatened, seduced? How much evidence do you need that the neo-liberal view of economics is a sham and a fraud? I hate to be conspiratorial about this, but what the heck is going on here?

Read the following from the NYT:

The Obama administration’s new plan to bail out the nation’s banks was fashioned after a spirited internal debate that pitted the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, against some of the president’s top political hands.

In the end, Mr. Geithner largely prevailed in opposing tougher conditions on financial institutions that were sought by presidential aides, including David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president, according to administration and Congressional officials.

Mr. Geithner, who will announce the broad outlines of the plan on Tuesday, successfully fought against more severe limits on executive pay for companies receiving government aid.
He resisted those who wanted to dictate how banks would spend their rescue money. And he prevailed over top administration aides who wanted to replace bank executives and wipe out shareholders at institutions receiving aid.

Because of the internal debate, some of the most contentious issues remain unresolved.

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