James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

On the calls for Timothy Geithner’s resignation …

November 19, 2009

If Republicans had any fear of the Obama White House on the economy, congressmen wouldn’t be calling for Tim Geithner to resign, much less right to his face as happened today. Then there is Peter DeFazio, the Oregonian Democrat, on MSNBC’s Ed Schultz show when asked if the treasury secretary should resign:

DEFAZIO: I do, especially if you look back at the AIG scandal and Goldmans and the others who got their bets paid off in full. Instead of saying, well, you bet, you lost, they got paid back in full with taxpayer money through AIG. We channeled the money through them.

Geithner would not answer my question when I said, “Were those naked credit default swaps by Goldman or were they a counter party?” He said, “I will not answer that question.”

I think they were naked credit default swaps. They were bets. They should not have gotten their money back.

SCHULTZ: So he‘s not coming clean with the Congress?

DEFAZIO: Absolutely not.

SCHULTZ: OK. So have you asked the Obama administration to remove him, or will you?

DEFAZIO: The populist caucus is considering questions regarding both him and some other members of the economic team in the near future.

This a sign that some Democrats do fear the Obama White House on the economy — they fear being too closely aligned with it. Look, the NJ and VA elections when combined with the high unemployment rate  are causing an absolute Dem freakout on Capitol Hill. Fun fact: Dems are defending 38 of the 50 most vulnerable House seats, as measured by the Cook Political Report.

Comments

Ed, I admire your stand on the health plan. But, to jump on Mr. Geitner for our economic problems that he inherited and has only 10 months to work on is not well thought out. I saw the vote on your TV show and was astonished that the folks voted 70% to fire him. You obviously have a ‘Pied Piper’ on some of your following.

I would like you to explore this issue with a more open mind.

Thanks – Norm Bell

Posted by Norman Bell | Report as abusive
 

Apparently, I’m one of the mice running along with The Pied Schultz. I haven’t seen Geithner get tough with anyone in his circle of former drinking buddies. In 10 months, he could have done one thing to show his allegiance to the American people but he hasn’t. Instead, he’s shown allegiance to the same reckless gamblers and institutions which caused the collapse.

Yeah,,,fire his ass!!!!!!

Posted by Unemployed | Report as abusive
 

Norm,

Geithner was head of the NY Fed for 5 years before treasury sec and was heavily involved in all of the chicanery that went down before he became sec.

He was on the side of the banks, not the taxpayer.

And he still is on the side of the banks, not the taxpayer.

He needs to go ASAP

Posted by JP | Report as abusive
 

AIG Counterparties: “Timmy, we want 110 cents on the dollar.”

Geithner: “I’ll give you 100 and not a penny more!!”

AIG Counterparties: “Wow, Timmy, I thought we were friends. I guess we have no choice but to accept your lowball offer.”

Posted by Elizabeth Warren in 2012 | Report as abusive
 

U.S. Democrats are advocating international cooperation and coordination, partly in their view to fix eight Bush years of bullying the world behavior. I have been saying for months, that the financial-transaction tax along with financial reform has moved to the G20 and IMF stage. That President Obama and Congressional Democratic leaders do not want the U.S. to act first and unilaterally on these matters, as that would indicate they are trying to cut the line again. It’s Republicans that usually show little care about what Europe, the IMF and the UN say and go it alone. It’s crucial to President Obama’s strategies to take a different path; one of global consensus…Read the full blog here http://www.greencompany.com/blog/index.p hp

 

It looks like a witch hunt. It’s obvious people are looking for a scapegoat in Tim Giethner but he’s done an excellent job given the fact that the Obama administration inherited this economic downturn before the election. Yes, jobs are needed, my husband was terminated two days ago, but we don’t blame this administrationo- there are bull and bear markets- it is what it is.

Posted by Angelique Bella | Report as abusive
 

It is unfortunate that we sit with a Washington DC where the world’s worst is gathering as “elected” leaders – shall we revoke the voters’ rights to vote or shall we qualify “corrupted leaders” more carefully.
I begin to think democracy is a farce.
So little advice is offered, all just critisism, how nice a position to have ……..!

Posted by J Smith | Report as abusive
 

Giethner defends naked swaps because he defends the status quo. That’s where his power base is. If congress is successful in providing meaningful reform Giethner will lose his advantage in dealing with the complex and corrupt financial system.

He’ll fight meaningful reform to the end. Because when it happens, he’ll be out of a job.

 

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