Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Geithner's Tantrum Boosts Credibility With Toddlers; Others Are Embarrassed

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, in a temper tantrum style that only those in the nascent toddler population could relate to, excoriated the heads of the FDIC, CFTC and Federal Reserve in a closed door assemblage of powerful figures last Friday. Geithner's obscenity-laden theatrics, which may or may not have been influenced by his inability to sell his Tudor style home, were intended to bulldog the unwilling regulators into complying with the Administration's specific vision of financial industry regulatory reform. Specifically, the former tax cheat turned anger management aficionado was perturbed about the public and vocal criticisms leveled at his plans by the likes of Ms. Bair and others.

Clearly, Geithner - although not a particularly shrewd politician - is perceptive enough to know that the Administration's regulatory reform agenda has been caught in a patch of quicksand that threatens to make it disappear forever. Such a development would also mark a defeat for President Obama, who is perilously close - and I would say this has already happened - to losing his health reform battle. That being said, Geithner knew that today's Senate testimony by Sheila Bair and others could be a finishing blow to his plans, especially if their rhetoric stayed on the "regulatory eggs all in one basket is a bad idea" course.

Unfortunately for Tiny Tim, he has likely failed at the most important task delegated to him by Obama, and might have set a record for "briefness of time in a cabinet level position prior to being asked to resign". Sphere: Related Content

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