Sucking up to power, Timothy Geithner edition

You have probably heard a lot of noise about what was said about the housing bubble at Federal Reserve meetings in 2006. The Federal Reserve Board recently released the transcripts from its 2006 Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings with the mandatory five-year lag and it turns out the Fed was pretty clueless. Dean Baker does a pretty good job of getting to the meat of the issue in his aptly titled post Alan Greenspan’s ship of fools. Baker concentrates on the housing substance but also offers up a quote from Timothy Geithner, then the NY Fed chief, that I think is quite revealing. Geithner remarks in addressing outgoing FOMC chair Greenspan:

"I’d like the record to show that I think you’re pretty terrific, too. And thinking in terms of probabilities, I think the risk that we decide in the future that you’re even better than we think is higher than the alternative."

Who says stuff like that? Seriously. We’re not talking about high school here. This is a Federal Reserve transcript.

I don’t have anything else to say except that Geithner is now Treasury Secretary and has outlasted every major figure on President Obama’s economic team. You needed to read that statement because it tells you how, behind the scenes, the American financial system actually works.

P.S. – If you are thinking that sucking up to power doesn’t work because people can see right through it, you’re wrong. Sucking up definitely works.


Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty five years of business experience. He has also been a regular economic and financial commentator on BBC World News, CNBC Television, Business News Network, CBC, Fox Television and RT Television. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College.


  1. RalphMusgrave says:

    Plus we should never forget Geithner’s astounding economic illiteracy: earlier on in the recession (in 2009) he thought no stimulus was needed!!!!

    See the ten or so paragraphs starting “By early last year..” here:

    Geithner’s only concern is to save the incompetents on Wall St, and he still seems to be at it. See:

    His nick name should be “Mr Socialism For The Rich”.

    • Anonymous says:

      He also refuted that his job at the Fed included bank regulation. The man is either a kiss ass moron or so incredibly corrupt that it makes incompetence a plus. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    By this time, we should all realize what a pathetic pissant this inadequate sycophant actually is,
    and hold him accountable for his meddling.