Dissecting US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

“His stewardship of the US government finances came during some of its most stormy periods. As Timothy Geithner leaves the treasury, how will he be remembered? When Mr Geithner took office as America’s treasury secretary in January 2009, the economy was a shambles.

The country was haemorrhaging jobs (almost 600,000 that month), home foreclosures were up 18% from the previous year, and the banking sector was in the midst of a deep crisis,” Michelle Fleury wrote for a BBC News online article last week. Fleury continued, “Is it any surprise that Mr Geithner has opted not to stay on for a second term? Now, as he packs his bags and prepares to leave Washington, Mr Geithner leaves behind a decidedly mixed legacy. Recycling ideas? In his early days on the job, his major priority was to help rebuild America’s shattered financial system. If Wall Street wasn’t fixed, he argued, the broader economy would struggle. Those fixes, however, would prove controversial.

On 10 February 2009, he outlined proposals to stabilise banks by having the federal government and the private sector buy some of the more toxic, hard-to-sell assets that were dragging those institutions down financially. He also mandated that they undergo stress tests to determine if they had enough capital on hand.”

Read the full article here. | Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

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