Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Mike Whitney gives the left's perspective on the guys at Treasury:

The Obama Team has a big problem on its hands; Timothy Geithner. Geithner was picked as Treasury Secretary because he is a trusted ally of the big banks and has a good grasp of the intricacies of the financial system. The problem is that Geithner can't handle the public relations part of his job. His big debut in prime-time last Tuesday turned out to be a complete dud. He was thoroughly unconvincing and looked like a nervous teenager at a speech contest. He fizzled on stage for 25 minutes while the little red box in the corner of the TV screen--which shows the current Dow Jones Industrials--plummeted nearly 400 points. It was a total disaster and one that is sure to be repeated over and over as long as Geithner is at Treasury. Not everyone can be a charismatic orator like Obama and nothing short of a personality transplant will fix Geithner. He lacks gravitas and doesn't inspire confidence. That's a problem since, the administration's main objective is to restore public confidence and get people spending again. They're just shooting themselves in the foot by using him as their pitchman. Eventually, Geithner will either have to be tossed overboard or strapped to Obama like a papoose so he can share in the president's popularity. Otherwise he will continue to be a millstone.

In truth, Geithner did us all a big favor on Tuesday by exposing himself as a stooge of the banking industry. Now everyone can see that the banks are working the deal from the inside. Geithner has assembled a phalanx of Wall Street flim-flam men to fill out the roster at Treasury. His chief-of-staff is lobbyist from Goldman Sachs. The new deputy secretary of state is a former CEO of Citigroup. Another CFO from Citigroup is now assistant to the president, and deputy national security adviser for International Economic Affairs. And one of his deputies also came from Citigroup. One new member of the president's Economic Recovery Advisory Board comes from UBS, which is currently being investigated for helping rich clients evade taxes. The Obama White House is a beehive of big money guys and Wall Street speculators.

In my more skeptical moments, I think like this. When I'm impressed by Obama and more hopeful, I don't.

In any case, I really don't trust big bankers after what they've done to us. And it really is their fault, because they (and their friends at the Fed and Treasury) controlled the credit spigot, and they let it run and run and run....and they made millions and millions and millions of dollars....and now, it's ruined the house. Fire them all, confiscate the bulk of their ill-gotten gains, and start over.

Where's my pitchfork?

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