By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

A disturbing profile of Geithner

The New York Times’ monumental profile of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is pretty disturbing.

Despite Geithner’s clear pattern of getting too close to the bankers he was supposed to be regulating during his time as president of the New York Fed, he still manages to come across as a man of integrity. So that’s not the issue.

Rather, the issue is that Geithner came to trust those bankers far more than he should have, a mindset that led him to get it wrong consistently.

It seems pretty clear that President Obama would have been better served by an outsider, albeit one with the technical expertise to see us through the financial crisis. Geithner’s got the technical expertise, but is simply too close to see the big picture.

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  1. NewsHound

    The big picture and challenge will be in future years trying to bailout the Bailout. Yes, as brilliant as Geithner is, not a good choice.

  2. Bill Baar

    Geithner never would have paid those taxes if he hadn’t been appointed TreasSec. That was noted at the vote to confirm him and overlooked because supposedly he was the only guy capable of solving the credit colloapse. He stopped coming accross as a man of integrity since his confirmation hearings. Now it’s just obvious too that he wasn’t much help with the banks either.

  3. io saturnalia!

    Good thing this guy wasn’t a Bush appointee — I don’t think I’d like to see Olbermann’s enormous head explode on TV.But at least the president has a cuddly new puppy, with a rudder-like tail. You can feel the change already.

  4. NewsHound

    There are millions of lives of decent, hardworking, mostly honest people who will be affected for many years to come. No one could have given Mr. Geithner an A+ for integrity aside from the horrible merits of his Bailout plan.The major contributor to the economic collapse was dishonesty – lack of creditability, and incompetency. The regular working person in this country needed an A+ person in this job rather than someone who would frantically dig his hole deeper when already in a deep hole. He should have put his shovel down before he even started digging deeper.I wonder how many decades it will take America to get out of this mess, or even if it ever does.

  5. lkcape

    Is anyone surprised by the cronyism?Geithner was one of the architects of the problems.

  6. Bill Baar

    Not if you’re from Chicago. Our whole politics is built on cronyism.Remember McCain’s ad featuring Bill Daley (our mayors brother) and now JPCase VP. The cronyism between Banks and Democrats is getting stronger.Wall Stree went for Obama. He’s no Socialist but he sure is a Crony Capitalist.

  7. Rick in Duxbury

    Bill,I suspect many future doctoral theses in Psychology or Marketing will be written about why people saw only what they wanted from Mr. Obama. In his defense, he followed the first rule of sales: when the prospect says “yes”, stop selling and start writing up the order. He didn’t have to sell many specifics; we so wanted to buy an amorphous concept.

  8. mike_b1

    Bill,I suspect many future doctoral theses in Psychology or Marketing will be written about why people saw only what they wanted from Mr. Bush. 1 and 2. And Ronald Reagan. And Pope Benedict XVI.And, broadly, your mother and father. Shall I continue? Or should I let my eyes roll all the way back into my head?

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