What Really Happened with that Clunker of a Geithner Speech

Feb 17, 2009 8:27pm

The Washington Post’s Neil Irwin and Binyamin Appelbaum have a great story today that provides some well-needed context on what happened with Treasury Secretary Geithner’s resoundingly panned speech last week on what to do about the financial system.

"According to several sources involved in the deliberations, Geithner had come to the conclusion that the strategies he and his team had spent weeks working on were too expensive, too complex and too risky for taxpayers," they write. "They needed an alternative and found it in a previously considered initiative to pair private investments and public loans to try to buy the risky assets and take them off the books of banks."

"There was one problem: They didn’t have enough time to work out many details or consult with others before the plan was supposed to be unveiled. The sharp course change was one of the key reasons why Geithner’s plan — his first major policy initiative as Treasury secretary — landed with such a thud last Tuesday."

Totally worth a read.

- jpt

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