Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Blogger Andrew Sullivan has been more generous toward Tim Geithner than I, at least until today:

The Dow is cratering; they've had months to come up with a plan, but they're still having a seminar. The gist of Noam Scheiber's piece on the Treasury Department is that they're too scared to seize the banks temporarily for political reasons, and too skittish to run the banks even for a short period of time. But staggering on for years slowly bleeding money to the banks ... that's just political heaven, isn't it?

I'm a pretty sympathetic Obama supporter. I'd like to know what the Treasury secretary actually proposes with respect to the banking crisis. Is that really too much to ask? Maybe he'll tell us today. Who knows? He should be a critical force in explaining the government's economic policies, and yet he seems incapable of conveying anything to the American public whom he serves. He came across in his debut as a terrified intern who hadn't mastered his brief. And his political presence since has been pathetic.

For the life of me, I don't know why Obama has such apparent confidence in Geithner. I suspect that his friendship and respect for his background overwhelmed his better judgment here. Could it be that Obama has no understanding of the way the finance system works and has given carte blanche control over to Geithner and Summer? That's hard to believe. Like Sullivan, I want to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, but we're all getting impatient and concerned here.

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