Opinion

Felix Salmon

Rahm Emanuel, Treasury secretary

By Felix Salmon
August 17, 2009

I’ve been wondering for a while whether the real Treasury secretary — the person who actually makes the big decisions about US fiscal policy — is in fact not Tim Geithner but rather Rahm Emanuel. Today, we learn:

After Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner stumbled in rolling out a new banking policy, Mr. Obama told Mr. Emanuel to step in, and he met for an hour each day with the economic team to develop a workable policy.

Geithner is a creature of Washington, and one would expect him to be very good at the political aspects of his job. But no one would expect Geithner to have more political nous than Rahm. And it’s hard to imagine, after Rahm is parachuted in to make US fiscal policy “workable”, that he adopted a posture of cringing obeisance towards Geithner’s policy ideas.

Speaking of which, whatever did happen to Geithner’s much-hyped bank bailout?

Comments
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In my opinion what happened is Rahm E. pushed the Geithener press conference over Geithner’s objections, and Obama ordered closer ties to make certain Rahm E. did not make the same mistake twice.

Treasury is clearly being run by Geithner. The bank bailout is doing just fine.

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