Transcript: Diane Sawyer Interviews Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

GEITHNER:
No, to do what's in their interest. And what's in their interest, largely, is what's in our interest. Because -- we need as a country, and no one should care more about this than the average American, again, need to make sure we're fixing this economy. Getting growth back on track. Fixing our financial system. And we make Americans confident just like investors around the world that we're going to go back to living within our means. That's something that Americans have to feel strongly about. And no one's going to feel more strongly about than me.

SAWYER:
No question in your mind that the Chinese are going to -- not going to back away? They have expressed concern about the enormous --

GEITHNER:
I spend a lot of my time talking to people around the world. Talking to countries around the world, governments, people in business, financial institutions. And I think if you look at what's happened to our financial system over the last six months in particular, you're seeing a lot of confidence in this country. A lot of confidence in our ability to get ourself back to the point where we're growing again. And you're seeing -- American investors -- foreign investors -- vote with us in that basic sense. Again, because I think they see this country doing what it has to do. Which is to move to fix the problems we inherited.

SAWYER:
Going to be a trade war? We read the paper this morning.

GEITHNER:
Not -- not going to happen. I think -- you know, this is just a relatively small example of a basic principle. Which is rules are rules. The system requires that we enforce the rules of the game. I think China understands that. And -- there's no reason why this has to be a big deal.

SAWYER:
You -- you really think -- I seem to be hearing that you really think this is it. That you are -- that you're not hedging on this. Whatever your 60 indicators are that you --

GEITHNER:
Diane, we're growing again now. That's the most important -- that's the beginning. Now, until unemployment starts to come down. Until you see great confidence, less uncertainty, investments start to rise again, you won't have a recovery. And for recovery to work, it's got to be led by private demand, not by the government. But growth is the beginning. It's the necessary condition. And we now -- growth has now started. And that's the critical change.

SAWYER:
Thank you.

GEITHNER:
Nice to see you.

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