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, who‚Äôll be stepping down on January 25. Here‚Äôs the president:
‚ÄúWith 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.‚ÄĚ
Step Two: favorable consensus opinion. Neil Irwin writes that Geithner was ‚Äúone of the most important Treasury secretaries in history‚ÄĚ — he agrees that Geithner‚Äôs primary task was to ‚Äústop the bleeding‚ÄĚ and that Geithner‚Äôs 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 Geithner‚Äôs 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: ‚ÄúIf anything, he was quite focused on the pain the country was suffering‚ÄĚ.
Not everybody is so positive, however. Paul Krugman isn‚Äôt sad to see him go: ‚ÄúGeithner 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.‚ÄĚ
And Binyamin Appelbaum tweeted his own take on Geithner‚Äôs legacy by pointing to an August piece headlined ‚ÄúCautious moves on foreclosures haunting Obama‚ÄĚ. The administration, Appelbaum wrote, ‚Äútried to finesse the cleanup of the housing crash‚ÄĚ, and that caution hurt economic growth. (You can read more on the Obama Treasury‚Äôs troubled housing legacy here and here.)
What’s Step Three? Geithner told Charlie Rose that he‚Äôs unlikely to write a book after leaving office, and he‚Äôs equally unlikely to want to stay in Washington as Fed chairman. So maybe he‚Äôll just work on his jump shot for a while before taking that inevitable highly-remunerative job at BlackRock. — Ben Walsh
On to today‚Äôs 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