Geithner Announces Bailout Repayments Will Be Reused for Smaller Banks

Later Geithner added, "This recession is now about six quarters old, and we have seen very substantial, very dramatic adjustments in our financial system already. Leverage has declined. The more vulnerable parts of the nonbank financial system no longer exist. Banks are funding themselves more conservatively. And these are necessary changes. One of the great strengths of our financial system, of our economy as a whole, is these adjustments, when they have to come, come with great speed and force."

Geithner predicted the administration will take further action on financial regulatory reform in the coming weeks.

"We want to move while the memory of the damage of the crisis is still acute," he noted. "And it's going to be a difficult, complicated task, but I think we have the best chance in a generation to fix this system."

He also voiced support for a measure that would increase the limit on the FDIC's borrowing from Treasury from $30 billion to $100 billion.

Following a very brief question-and-answer session, the bankers presented Geithner with a Ben Bernanke stress test doll, referencing the Federal Reserve chairman.

"Anytime you feel stressed, give Ben a squeeze," they told Geithner.

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