A lifelong practitioner of the art of defusing financial crises, he has spent his career hopping from one fiasco to the next—in Mexico, Asia, twice in Brazil—for the Treasury and the IMF. Which is why some argue that he should have seen one coming in the mid-aughts, when he took charge as president of the New York Fed, supervising many of the institutions that required federal assistance. When Obama first approached him about coming to Treasury in 2008, Geither suggested that unflattering details such as this might make him an unviable candidate. The decisions he had been party to at the height of the crisis—allowing Lehman Brothers to fail, bailing out AIG, deploying the hated TARP—might reflect badly on the new administration. He was trying to wriggle out of the job—“I knew it would be terrible”—but Obama wanted him anyway. [NYM]
Let's Help Tim Geithner Name His Book
As you may have heard, Obama is apparently close to nominating Jack Lew for Treasury Secretary, giving Tim Geithner his late Christmas wish: a one-way ticket outta there. And while he's previously said to have no interest in writing about his time in Washington (and at the NY Fed before that), friends o' TG claim that his plan for the next year or so involve "a round of 'detox' and writing a book." Obviously we're still very far off from anything concrete but publishers will undoubtedly be banging down his door in no time and when they do, it might be nice to at least have a title to wet their palates. While Geithner packs his bags, let's do him a solid and come up with some options. The year spent sunning himself off the coast of Ko Samui (or puttering around Larchmont, or taking a job with the least amount of responsibility possible, whatever the detox entails) will presumably do wonders to take the edge of the last 48 months but if he's still in an angsty phase by the time he sits down to bang out his story, perhaps one of the following would work?
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):
Bloomberg Worried About Tim Geithner's Ability To Put Food On The Table
As you may have heard, because you've read the reports reports or picked up on the Morse code message he's blinked out during every appearance on CNBC or he threw himself on the hood of your car and screamed "Get me outta here" the last time you drove up to the Treasury building, Tim Geithner is ready to leave Washington. Has been for some time, in fact, but previous requests to go home were all denied. Now that his bosses are supposedly going to allow him to leave in the event Obama is reelected, many are wondering what will be next for TG. Despite having spent the majority of his career in public service and giving the impression that he has no desire to work for Wall Street, Bloomberg is thinking that with the albatross that his his unsellable Larchmont house around his neck, a family, and college tuition to pay, Geithner may not have a choice. The years in public service -- particularly engaging in diplomacy with domestic and foreign partners -- left a deep impression on Geithner, infusing him with a sense of purpose that he might find lacking on Wall Street...Yet the years in civil servitude have also left Geithner in need of a better salary. Geithner is one of the least wealthy men to head the Treasury Department in recent years. He took more than a 50 percent pay cut to assume the job. His $199,700 salary is higher than the $174,000 earned by most members of Congress. His pay has been increased by $8,400 in three years, yet his net worth pales next to such predecessors as Hank Paulson and Bob Rubin. With two mortgages and two college-age children, the lure of private-sector money could be hard to resist. BlackRock's Fink, for instance, received $23.8 million in salary and stock in 2011, making him No. 1 in the Finance 50, Bloomberg Markets' annual ranking of the best-paid CEOs at the largest U.S. financial companies. Other ideas Bloomberg has for ways Geithner can make ends meet that he's already said no to include writing a memoir. He "publicly ruled out" doing so in September, but they're pretty sure he'll reconsider after the guy he hired to patch up his roof tells him the whole thing needs to be replaced. What's Next For Tim Geithner [Bloomberg] Related: Tim Geithner To Finally Be Set Free? Also Related: Robert Shiller, Westchester-Area Realtor Rub Tim Geithner’s Nose In It