As you’ve probably noticed, Tim Geithner’s had a pretty tough go of it lately. People are pissed at him about the bailouts, no one will get off him about AIG, many feel he “coddles” Wall Street and rarely a day goes by that the Treasury Secretary’s ousting is not called for, and not just by pissants on the internet. His job doesn’t actually seem to be in any actual danger at the moment– according to Rahm Emanuel, “The president’s view is that Tim is one of the stars,” but clearly something needs to be done about how the public sees TG. To show them he cares. That he “gets” it. That he’s just one of them. But how? An article this morning concerning T. Geith’s “charm offensive” included the following photo of Mr. Geithner, touring a supermarket in Philadelphia with Michelle Obama:
Our initial thought: what the hell? How is Tim Geithner mixing it up at the grocery store and smiling maniacally at a bunch of produce going to endear him to the public? Then, a few lines later, this:
Mr. Geithner says even his wife has urged him to show more emotion in confronting the banks.
So, okay. Grocery stores…not being afraid to show his feelings….he’s not working the…vagina angle is he? No, come on. You’re making huge leaps in logic here, we said to ourselves. We actually almost started to feel guilty for coming to such gender stereo-typing conclusions, and would’ve continued to do so, if the next thing we saw hadn’t been this:
Even more outrageous, it specifically prohibited Congress from rejecting tax giveaways to Wall Street, as it did last year, by removing all congressional oversight of future bailouts. In fact, the resolution authority proposed by Frank was such a slurpingly obvious blow job of Wall Street that it provoked a revolt among his own committee members, with junior Democrats waging a spirited fight that restored congressional oversight to future bailouts, requires equity for taxpayer money and caps assistance to troubled firms at $150 billion.
Obama’s Big Sell-Out [Rolling Stone]
Isn’t this rich? Bill Gates, the richest man in the whole country, thinks Wall Streeters are paid too much.
The compensation problem is a very interesting problem. I do think compensation is often too high, but it’s a very tough problem to solve.
Gates blamed a 1993 federal law capping executive salaries at $1 million–“a bad milestone”–which he said wound up backfiring, encouraging huge bonuses and stock option awards. He doesn’t like that, he said during a discussion on philanthropy in New York yesterday, but he’s wary of doing anything about it, worrying that, like the ’93 law, it will just make things worse.