The Great Debate

If Geithner didn’t bully S&P, he should have

By Michael Maiello
January 27, 2014

As part of its defense against a Department of Justice lawsuit alleging $5 billion in fraud, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has argued that the United States has singled it out for persecution as payback for S&P’s 2011 downgrade of U.S. Treasury debt from “AAA” to “AA-plus.” Harold McGraw, chairman of McGraw Hill Financial, the owner of S&P, says that an angry Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner called to threaten him after the downgrade, warning ominously that he had earned the government’s ire and scrutiny. A spokesman for Geithner, who now works for a private equity firm, denies the claim.

Tim Geithner’s principal hypocrisy

By Neil Barofsky
August 6, 2012

Last week the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Ed DeMarco, made a familiar argument. He announced that he would not approve the Obama administration’s request that struggling borrowers whose mortgages are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac receive debt relief through principal reductions subsidized by the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). DeMarco’s refusal was based on his concern that granting such relief would encourage other borrowers to “strategically default” by not making payments on their loan to take advantage of the promise of a reduction in their debt. This is a version of the moral hazard argument we heard about so often in the early days of the financial crisis. Secretary Geithner, in response, argued in a public letter that notwithstanding such concerns, and for the greater good of the overall economy, such relief should be granted whenever it would result in a better economic outcome than foreclosure.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Geithner’s faulty apologia

January 28, 2010

Tim Geithner's appearance in front of Congress today was another embarrassment, perhaps more for the people's representatives than the Treasury Secretary. Still, Geithner offered a clumsy defense for paying out 100¢ on the dollar to AIG's counterparties, which included more than Goldman Sachs.

from Commentaries:

Geithner of Oz

August 13, 2009

Earlier today I wrote that Sheila Bair is one of the few financial regulators who gets it. And by getting it, I mean not sucking up to the banks and the big money interests on Wall Street. You know, the guys (and most of them are guys), who got us into this financial mess. Tim Geithner, on the other hand, is a regulator who just doesn't get it.

California, harbinger of hard U.S. choices

May 27, 2009

James Saft Great Debate – James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Goldman’s TARP out: give up ALL state aid

April 22, 2009

goldman-crop – Jonathan Ford is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own –

“Truman doctrine” could boost IMF firepower

By Paul Taylor
March 17, 2009

Paul Taylor Great Debate– Paul Taylor is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Too failed to live not too big to fail

March 16, 2009

James Saft Great Debate – James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Geithner’s hair of the dog plan for banks

By J Saft
February 18, 2009

jimsaftcolumn– James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. –