Tim Geithner

  • 03 Jan 2013 at 4:11 PM

Now You Listen Here: Tim Geithner’s Bags Are Packed

Earlier today, it was reported that Timothy P. Geithner has informed people that he “plans to leave the administration by the end of January, even if President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans haven’t reached an agreement to raise the debt ceiling.” Will this actually happen? Those unfamiliar with the Treasury Secretary’s attempts to leave his post in the past will say yes. He’s leaving, ship-shape. Those who’ve watched TPG try and fail to bust out of Washington for the last nineteen months, however, know better. More than likely, he’s not going anywhere and it’s not because deep down inside he doesn’t actually want to go home but because his bosses won’t let him. Witness, if you will, a small sampling of examples in which his requests have been denied, either directly (via someone laughing in his face) or indirectly (by giving those who’ve applied to replace him the wrong directions to their interview):

  • August 3, 2011: “Mr. Obama and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, have been urging Mr. Geithner to stay, administration officials say, not only for continuity when the economy has weakened and to avoid an all-but-certain confirmation fight in the Senate over a successor, but also because Mr. Obama has developed a close rapport with Mr. Geithner…Especially in recent weeks, the issue has become a running joke, officials say: Mr. Geithner and Mr. Daley tease about the ankle bracelet that the White House makes him wear, or Mr. Geithner asks if Mr. Daley has yet read his resignation letter, to which Mr. Daley answers in unprintable language.”
  • August 5, 2011: “President Barack Obama’s senior advisers are confident Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will remain in his job even though he hasn’t made his intentions public, an administration official said. Geithner met recently with Vice President Joe Biden and laid out his reasons for wanting to leave the post. Biden outlined why it was vital that Geithner remain, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made.”
  • January 26, 2012: “Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, the last member of the Obama administration’s original economic team, said he doesn’t expect to remain in office if the president is re-elected. ‘He’s not going to ask me to stay on, I’m pretty confident,’ Geithner said in an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday in Charlotte, North Carolina. ‘I’m confident he’ll be president. But I’m also confident he’s going to have the privilege of having another secretary of the Treasury.’”
  • October 2, 2012: “Mr. Geithner has made clear for more than a year that he plans to leave his post but has said he would remain until a successor is confirmed, should Mr. Obama win re-election.”

According to Bloomberg, Geithner is well-aware of the potential for getting sandbagged yet again, which is why he’s come up with a new, fool-proof approach: telling everyone he’s serious. Before there was room for flexibility but not this time. He’s really leaving. He means it. January 31, he’s out the door. Take this seriously because he’s really going. Throwing a Super Bowl party at the house this year and he’s not cancelling again. Read more »

Yes, he said that he’ll stay ’til this thing gets done but FYI, he’s already booked a one-way ticket out of this dump and it’s nonrefundable, so if you think he’s gonna just stand by while you people fumble around and fuck everything up, thereby prolonging his stay in this asylum one day longer, think again! Read more »

  • 07 Nov 2012 at 2:37 PM

Tim Geithner May Not Want To Pack His Bags Just Yet

President Barack Obama, newly re- elected, now confronts two questions that he has been avoiding for more than a year: Who will replace Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and when…The timing of Geithner’s replacement depends on whether the White House can reach an agreement with the lame duck Congress on a deficit reduction plan to avoid triggering spending cuts and tax increases known as the fiscal cliff. If a deal can be reached before the Jan. 1 deadline, Geithner might leave as soon as it is completed. If the solution is left for the next Congress, Obama may ask Geithner to stay, either to work on a deal or to reassure financial markets about the U.S. government’s ability to trim the deficit. [Bloomberg, earlier re: Tim Geithner's many unapproved requests to go home]

Who should replace Ben S. Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve when his term ends in January 2014? If anyone cared to ask us, we’d say no one: we like our Fed Chairman soft-spoken, bearded, and just as comfortable in dad jeans as they are in their bespoke Jos. A. Bank suits. But nobody asked and, according to Andrew Ross Sorkin, Bernanke has told “close friends” that regardless of whether or not Obama wins a second term, he’s ready to move on. Apparently qualified successors are few and far between and while Larry Summers is said to be “at the top of the list,” the fact that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner may finally be granted freedom from his own personal Guantanamo Bay and will also necessitate a replacement who will have to work closely with the new Fed Chair poses some staffing issues, on account of the perception that Summers is somewhat difficult to work with. Read more »

  • 01 Oct 2012 at 5:57 PM

Make Him An Offer




[EamonJavers, earlier]

  • 01 Oct 2012 at 4:34 PM

Tim Geithner To Finally Be Set Free?

“President Barack Obama’s senior advisers are confident Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will remain in his job even though he hasn’t made his intentions public, an administration official said. Geithner met recently with Vice President Joe Biden and laid out his reasons for wanting to leave the post. Biden outlined why it was vital that Geithner remain, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made.”-Bloomberg, August 5, 2011

“Mr. Obama and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, have been urging Mr. Geithner to stay, administration officials say, not only for continuity when the economy has weakened and to avoid an all-but-certain confirmation fight in the Senate over a successor, but also because Mr. Obama has developed a close rapport with Mr. Geithner…Especially in recent weeks, the issue has become a running joke, officials say: Mr. Geithner and Mr. Daley tease about the ankle bracelet that the White House makes him wear, or Mr. Geithner asks if Mr. Daley has yet read his resignation letter, to which Mr. Daley answers in unprintable language.”- New York Times, August 3, 2011 Read more »

Tim Geithner had a nice chat with Congress about Libor in a theoretically unrelated hearing today, and since Congressional hearings are mostly about restating everyone’s pre-existing prejudices I figured I’d lay out my Libor hobbyhorses:

  • Nobody really has ever been all that troubled by the fact that banks manipulated Libor to make themselves look like they could borrow in 2007-2008, while everyone is at least acting all shocked shocked that banks manipulated Libor to juice derivatives profits, but that contrast is awkward because in a certain light those are the same activity, so everyone has to look all horrified by stuff they were obviously cool with four years ago.
  • Everybody knew that banks understated Libor in 2007-2008. Like, you could compare Libor to market borrowing rates and CDS and stuff, and people did, and noticed it was wrong. Also remember that Barclays, while they were manipulating Libor, were also emailing all their clients every day to remind them that Libor was being manipulated.
  • The effect/harm/liability of Libor manipulation has to be determined in expectation and if everyone knew it was being manipulated then they were presumably charging a higher spread to Libor when dealing with banks.

Geithner’s testimony won’t change my mind: now he has to look all grim about Libor manipulation, while back in the day he “treated it as a curiosity, or something akin to jaywalking, as opposed to highway robbery.”

But Tim Geithner wasn’t just a regulator when he ran the New York Fed; he was also a Libor user. So he gets to answer questions like this: Read more »