The Geithner Legacy

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Geithner Meets With Business And Labor Leaders In Pittsburgh, March 31, 2010 (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

President Obama has nominated John O. Brennan to lead the CIA, Senator John Kerry for Secretary of State, and Senator Chuck Hagel for the Department of Defense position, but the Secretary of the Treasury position is still open.

Current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will leave a distinctive legacy as he steps down from his post, and the president must decide whether to maintain Geithner-style policies, or change course.

Apart from his credentials and economic outlook, Geithner has certainly faced an uphill battle since assuming the position in 2009, in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

As the secretary prepares for his departure, Michael Barr examines his legacy. Barr is a professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School, and he previously served in the U.S. Treasury Department under Secretary Geithner.


Michael Barr

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [3]

Sam Feldman from NYC

You The Takeaway guys are too much - you do the same here with Geitner like you did with Susan Rice when you had a colleague of hers evaluate her. Here, Michael Barr is also falling all over himself praising Geithner, because he worked for him in Treasury in 2008-2009, they are allies and friends, Barr worked for Geithner. You should just save yourself trouble and have Rice's and Geithner's mothers on the show to cheerlead for their kids. Obviously your agenda is to whitewash and praise - you can't be that incompetent that you didn't realize these people are cheerleaders, rather than objective commentators to give us some insight.

Jan. 08 2013 03:36 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Geithner saved who he thought was important

Jan. 08 2013 12:58 PM

"Extremely effective"!?!
Does that effectiveness include a plan to get a budget past by even his own party?

His "distinctive legacy" and "steady hand" was demonstrated by a laughably reckless budget for the United States that was soundly rejected by the Congress twice with zero votes. That along with 1,350 days since Sen. Reid's US Senate passed a budget has to be some kind of record.

Geithner performed his job to the schedule of a political timetable and not a financial one. He waited until a new Republican House was sworn in to suddenly discover the debt ceiling had to be raised which was not on his radar two weeks before when his party controlled the US Congress and could have been done in a day.
Isn't that putting financially ruinous party politics over the economic health of the nation?
An honorable Treasury Secretary would have resigned on the spot.

Of course all of that is ignored in this analysis and the usual attempts at jocularity doesn't include the absurdity of Turbo Tax being too challenging for this Treasury Secretary. Jibes like that are reserved for Republicans in the famously unbiased media.

Even a discussion of the public record of an outgoing Treasury Secretary cannot be done seriously without ridiculously flattering revision and omission that is more suited to public relations than journalism.

Unserious governance demands unserious journalism and that demand is dutifully being met with the weaving of the Emperor's new clothes that is literally costing us trillions.

Jan. 08 2013 10:26 AM

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