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Tim Geithner’s Financial Crisis Amnesia

March 4, 2012

Illustration by Chad Crowe

If you read the Friday March 2 Wall Street Journal opinion piece penned by tax cheat Tim Geithner, you would have read his long lament about Americas amnesia over the financial crisis of 2008, when he was then head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  Describing himself as the “fire department for the financial system”, he goes on to whine how antiquated the regulatory laws were then, and how Obama had to step in to save America from “the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression”.  The article goes on:

My wife occasionally looks up from the newspaper with bewilderment while reading another story about people in the financial world or their lobbyists complaining about Wall Street reform or claiming they didn’t need the Troubled Asset Relief Program.  She reminds me of the panicked calls she answered for me at home late at night or early in the morning of 2008 from the then-giants of our financial system.”

Tax cheat Tim Geither then goes on to warn us that we can’t forget the lessons of this crisis and that President Obama was the knight on a white horse who rode in to save America from all it’s financial ills.  However, it’s possible that in the four years since that crisis, Mr. Geithner has had selective memory and a bit of amnesia himself, so we’d like to put some fact backed reminders out to him:

  • The Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, no matter what you think of it’s effectiveness, was signed into law on October 3, 2008 under then president George Bush.
  • Since tax cheat Mr. Geithner has been secretary of the US Treasury, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage giants, cited as part of the problem in the sub-prime mortgage crisis – have continued to operate without fixing any of the issues of issuing mortages to people who can’t afford them without any credit oversight.  The treasury has since helped prevent the bottoming out of the mortagage bubble by allowing foreclosures to naturally happen and cleanse the marketplace.
  • While Treasury tries to fix all blame for our financial stagnation on risky investment markets, he fails to mention the rise of the federal debt from about $4 Trillion to the current $15+ Trillion  – to the point where the government spends more annually than we take in.  Apparently Mr. Geitner sees no risk-taking in this state of our debt.
  • This current administration has presided over the first downgrading of America’s credit in our history.  Tax cheat Tim Geitner forgot to mention how this is helping the US financial prosition – not.
  • The save-the-day Dodd/Frank bill that Mr. Geitner is calling the answer to the 2008 financial crisis comes in 2012…..after the administration spent years pushing Obamacare and anything but financial reform.  The Dodd/Frank bill will only be loved by the federal regulators and the tax lawyers who will profit from trying to help financially strapped companies comply with even more regulatory burden.  Shareholders will suffer (people who hold stocks in their IRA’s and 401K’s) as will small banks, and especially consumers as we’ve already seen with entities like Bank of America imposing new consumer fees to try and make up for revenue lost to regulatory restrictions.

So, Mr. Geither should remind taxpayers, shareholders, consumers and voters of all of these administrative follies that have kept our country financially hog-tied when they go to the polls in November….but he won’t….as this administration is trying to white wash the collective memory of America.

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