This story is about Tim Geithner, but I better make doubly sure you know who he is. It's very unlikely if you're reading here that you don't know all about him, but on the off chance (Wall Street Journal) that a few new readers are among the 54% for whom ignorance is bliss, I give you the following—
Mr. Geithner has room to maneuver: He may be caught in Washington's cross hairs, but that appears to have had little impact on public opinion. A January Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found 54% saying they either didn't know Mr. Geithner's name or were unsure of their opinion, up from 51% a year earlier, despite rising public discontent over bailouts and bonuses.
Geithner is Obama's Secretary of the Treasury. He was instrumental in facilitating the initial round of bail-outs to insurance giant A.I.G. and its bank counter-parties during the Financial Crisis of September/October 2008 while serving as the head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. It is widely reported that he is Jesus-like in so far as his prompt actions during the fall of 2008 are said to have averted an economic collapse. From the WSJ again—
The bank rescues he helped engineer averted economic collapse. Yet to some lawmakers, Mr. Geithner looks weak. His association with unpopular financial bailouts has become an albatross. His neutral rhetoric on bankers' bonuses—the fat payouts are "very hard for people to understand," he recently told CNBC—spurs talk that he coddles Wall Street...
Mr. Geithner's approach to stabilizing the financial system, particularly the "stress tests" to measure bank health, helped put a floor underneath the crisis, something even critics concede. "It's true that we've avoided Armageddon," says Anil Kashyap, an economist at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and initial critic of Mr. Geithner's plan.
"People sometimes forget, we were on the precipice," says David Cote, CEO of Honeywell. "You get little credit for the problem you avoided."
I would comment on our having "avoided Armageddon" but every time I try, I can't stop laughing.
Note that the Wall Street Journal reports that there is a "perception" that Geithner favors Wall Street. As Henry Blodget says in the video below, "Geithner does put Wall Street first, he has all the way through..." Democrats see Geithner as a political liability because of the "perception" that he "coddles" Wall Street, so he is now The Comeback Kid.
To boost his image, Mr. Geithner is waging a charm offensive. On Friday, he toured a supermarket in Philadelphia with first lady Michelle Obama to showcase efforts to reduce childhood obesity, an unusual event for a Treasury secretary. He demonstrated how a Treasury program offering tax credits in low-income communities can bring in businesses selling more nutritious food.
His job is secure.
In interviews, top White House officials—including Rahm Emanuel, the president's chief of staff, and senior political adviser David Axelrod—said Mr. Geithner's job is secure. "The president's view is that Tim is one of the stars," Mr. Emanuel said. "Tim was an essential and a key player in developing a strategy that helped restore confidence and turn the whole country around."
I wasn't aware that our confidence is now overflowing and that the whole country has been turned around. Silly me! Live & Learn, that's what I always say...
U.S. consumer confidence plunged 10.5 points in February, raising concerns about the outlook for consumer spending, according to a report from the Conference Board, a private research group... The reading of 46 was the lowest since April 2009 and far below economists' expectations...
Watch the video below from Yahoo's Tech Ticker. As always, the freewheeling discussion between Aaron Task and Henry Blodget is frank and on the money. Anything else I might say here would only provide a more cynical DOTE interpretation of what Aaron and Henry say. I recommend these guys in general. It's obvious that no one at Yahoo is looking over their shoulder telling them what to say.
If there's a Loving God who cares about us, now would be a good time for Him to put in an appearance...