The Tim Geithner Legacy Project
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Step One in the Tim Geithner Legacy Project is complete: Barack Obama delivered a ringing endorsement of the Treasury secretary, whoâ€™ll be stepping down on January 25. Hereâ€™s the president:
â€śWith the wreckage of our economy still smoldering and unstable, I asked Tim to help put it back together. So when the history books are written, Tim Geithner is going to go down as one of our finest Secretaries of the Treasury.â€ť
Step Two: favorable consensus opinion. Neil Irwin writes that Geithner was â€śone of the most important Treasury secretaries in historyâ€ť — he agrees that Geithnerâ€™s primary task was to â€śstop the bleedingâ€ť and that Geithnerâ€™s experience at the NY Fed made him a highly capable financial first-responder.
Joe Weisenthal pulls a chart from the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis that puts Geithnerâ€™s tenure in perspective: compared to previous financial crises — and compared to other countries recovering from the current crisis — the US job market has rebounded relatively quickly. Politico joins in the praise, and includes this gem from a former colleague: â€śIf anything, he was quite focused on the pain the country was sufferingâ€ť.
Not everybody is so positive, however. Paul Krugman isnâ€™t sad to see him go: â€śGeithner has consistently been a voice urging the president to cave in for fear of upsetting the markets, with no real concern for the dangers of giving in to blackmail.â€ť
And Binyamin Appelbaum tweeted his own take on Geithnerâ€™s legacy by pointing to an August piece headlined â€śCautious moves on foreclosures haunting Obamaâ€ť. The administration, Appelbaum wrote, â€śtried to finesse the cleanup of the housing crashâ€ť, and that caution hurt economic growth. (You can read more on the Obama Treasuryâ€™s troubled housing legacy here and here.)
What’s Step Three? Geithner told Charlie Rose that heâ€™s unlikely to write a book after leaving office, and heâ€™s equally unlikely to want to stay in Washington as Fed chairman. So maybe heâ€™ll just work on his jump shot for a while before taking that inevitable highly-remunerative job at BlackRock. — Ben Walsh
On to todayâ€™s links:
It turns out that it’s actually quite hard to tell if Herbalife is (technically) a pyramid scheme – Steven Davidoff
“Have a shake, share an Aloe”: A great liveblog of the Herbalife conference – Will Alden