Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Being Timothy Geithner IV

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says that the markets are doing incredibly well. Isn't strange that this is so when many millions of American and small businesses are doing so incredibly bad? Small businesses can't get loans to stay afloat and individuals can't get them to start a business. Wasn't the bailout to the Wall Street banks suppose to enable these things? Wall Street banks are flush with cash largely because of the money the American taxpayers lent while they sit and do nothing for us.

Listening to Geithner, I wondered if were seeing the same reality. Perhaps his indicators point to some other reality. But when has it ever been that the markets were doing so well and the American people so poorly? Does this not support the fact that Wall Street is the other Las Vegas as Nicholas Darvas asserts in his book, Wall Street: The Other Las Vegas. John Bogle writes in in his wonderful book Enough that "there is too much speculating and not enough investing." I agree. What is for sure is that the national and global economies were saved by the bailout and stimulus. I don't think bottoming out was a viable option. But it should have been required of AIG to make concessions to their counterparties. Instead, the like of Goldman Sachs and Barclays, who failed miserably by investing in new products like credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations, got paid big in fees before the crisis and a big bailout totaling over 20 billion in Goldman Sachs' case thereafter. Who wouldn't be flushed with cash with such opportunities?

When asked about Arianna Huffington's movement, Move Your Money, which encourages people to move their money from big Wall Street banks to small banks and credit unions, Geithner thought it was a bad idea. He was initially quite dismissive of the power which rests with the depositors. Without giving reasons why it was not a good idea Geithner quickly backpedals to offhandedly support the American people with words. But we'd like to see some action. The bailout was suppose to increase lending to small businesses. Instead, these Wall Street banks give out billion-dollar bonuses.

Geithner seems to care less about the unavailability of loans to small business and individuals seeking credit to start a business and more concerned about Wall Street banks which he did not oversee during the years he spent as the New York Fed chairman.


zorro said...

Geithner serves at the pleasure of Obama. Your problem is not with Geithner, it is with Obama.

I happen to trust that Obama knows what he is doing. He is a better person then either Taleb or Huffington. At least that is how I see it.
With the economy in the state it is in, one of the most important choices Obama made was his choice of secretary of treasury. If you disagree with him there, you might need to rethink your support of Obama. I'm sure Obama knows more about Geithner and Bernanke than most anyone else in the country.
You either have faith in Obama or you don't.
I see no reason to trust anything Arianna Huffington says. She supported the contract for america in the 1990's, wanted Clinton Impeached and floated the idea of having Dick Cheney replace Newt Gingrich when Gingrich lost his speakership due to scandal.
Its even odds that she endorses Joe Scarborough when he makes his run for the Presidency in 2012. That's not a Joke. Scarborough is thinking of running. She shows up on his show all the time and never has anything good to say about Obama. Things might not be perfect, but they could be worse.

Judith Ellis said...

Zorro - Here are some thoughts:

1. The Office of the President and the very system itself are greater than any one president. Period. It behooves citizens to be active in their government no matter who the president is. He works on our behalf. If we don't understand his decisions or appointments, he better make it crystal clear to us as if we were two years old.

2. You suggest that I should reconsider my support. My answer to you is that I don't blindly follow ANYBODY whether I have voted for them or not. Period. I didn't blindly follow my Mom and I loved her dearly and trusted her completely. I suggest you watch the Apple 1984 commercial. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8

3. You have not addressed any of the points in the post but merely given your opinion of Arianna and Nassim. I referenced what has happened with regards to Geithner and the New York Fed and even given a link. You referenced your feelings of trust. I'll take the facts of what has/is happening any day over your feelings of trust. I believe that President Obama is a good man and that he has the interest of the people at heart. But I do not support Geithner, Summers or Bernanke.

4. "You either have faith in Obama or you don't." This statement is pure foolishness. I will say no more about it.

5. Again, you are entitled to your opinions about Nassim and Arianna; However, I would that they were more directly relevant to the specifics of the post. You don't even address the video.

6. Instead of making points relevant to the post you make naive statements like "I happen to trust that Obama knows what he is doing." You continue as if you know any of them "He is a better person than either Taleb or Huffington." Then you precede to know what Arianna is planning because she appears on the Joe Scarborough show. I don't know what her plans for 2012 but should they differ from mine she's entitled.

I eagerly await President Obama's State of the Union speech tomorrow.

Judith Ellis said...

My brother who is an investment banker with a Wall Street bank just texted me to say that he is with President Obama on Geithner. I will talk with him tomorrow and will probably include his take here.

zorro said...

A link about 'move your money'

As for having faith in Obama, what else can anyone go by?
I'm just being honest, while you pretend to rely on logic.


Judith Ellis said...

Zorro - Does logic need not be honest? Thanks for the link. I'll check it out. By the way, I have faith in our president. But to answer your question, what we have to go by are the actions of others to determine their direction of leadership. This direction we can agree with or not, in parts or wholly.

Judith Ellis said...

"For her campaign to really have an impact, though, even hundreds of thousands wouldn't be enough."

I have read the article. Often times change begins with a single person. Such is the case for any movement. Consider Rosa Parks. With 300 million people in American it is very likely to have more than the "hundreds of thousands" as stated above. What is for certain is that the power of the average depositors should matter. As it now seems, it does not. Together we can do more than a part. This is the point of Move Your Money. I wholeheartedly support Arianna's movement with all due respect to my beloved brother.