'This Week' Transcript: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

GEITHNER: Oh, of course. Of course. But I'm very confident we can make sure that we are working very closely to raise global standards around the world so we have a level playing field.

And you know we are -- we have -- we are going to have a much stronger financial system ahead than we had going into this crisis. Because we are going to make sure that again we're putting in place stronger protections against risk taking. And we're going to make sure that we work with countries around the world so that we're raising standards globally -- not just raising the United States.

TAPPER: Lastly when you came in, and you met with President Obama, you told them about five bombs that needed to be diffused. Fannie, Freddie -- some others. And you recently said -- you compared your experience to the movie, "The Hurt Locker."

GEITHNER: Oh, no. I wasn't comparing my experience. There's nothing like what we faced to what American soldiers face every day.


TAPPER: Still diffusing these bombs, even if they were theoretical economic bombs, was -- must have been very nerve racking.

GEITHNER: This was like nothing anybody in public office today, or in the last few decades have ever faced. It was the gravest most dangerous moment since the great depression of the United States. Again remember we had a -- we were in a situation where people were no longer sure they could safely keep their money in the strongest American banks.

It was catastrophic, and it translated directly into factories closing. Millions of people losing their jobs, and their homes. Economic -- it could be around the world came to a sudden stop. It was the gravest moment we've ever seen. And we were very, very effective, because of the leadership of the president, moving very quickly with enormous care and force to bring stability.

And those policies have got this economy growing again. And as I said we've been able to put out this financial fire at much, much lower cost than anybody anticipated. And what that means is we have much more resources now available to meet our long-term challenges.

TAPPER: I guess was, all I mean was,-- personally, even though I know you don't like talking about your personal life all that much, or your emotions all that...



TAPPER: ... much publicly -- personally it must have been nerve racking.

GEITHNER: Oh, it was -- it was hard. But, you know, we were all very focused on what we could do. And you know, this -- this job -- these jobs are a little bit like the fireman. They're a little bit like the doctor. And they're a little bit like the people that go and try to diffuse bombs. It's a mix of those things. And I'm very proud of what we've been able to do. But of course I understand -- I -- ever minute with a recognition that we have a lot more work ahead of us.

TAPPER: Secretary Geithner, thanks so much for joining us. Really appreciate it.

GEITHNER: Nice to see you.

TAPPER: And we're joined now by our roundtable to talk about that interview and all the day's news. We're joined by George Will, Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal, Al Hunt of Bloomberg News, John Podesta of the Center for American Progress, and Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post.

Thanks so much for joining us.

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