Monday, May 12, 2014

Romney Adviser: Geithner is a Liar

Glenn Hubbard, the top economic adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, accused former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner of “lying” about a private discussion on tax increases they had, as laid out in Geithner’s forthcoming memoir,Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises.

Politico reports Hubbard said Geithner fabricated a claim in the book that Hubbard endorsed raising taxes in a conversation the two men had in early 2012 at an Economic Club of New York dinner. “He’s going to go out and say what he wants,” Hubbard told Politico. “It just happens to be a lie.” Hubbard is now dean of Columbia Business School.

(ht MarketWatch)



  2. Geithner’s Single Most Revealing Sentence


    The title of Geithner’s book that he wrote to settle these petty personal scores is a sad testament to his abject failure as a regulator while the NY Fed’s President. He relied on the delusion that banks would self-regulate themselves to safety and soundness through stress tests designed to ensure that even the most fraudulent bank could easily pass the faux stress test. In his book, Geithner was unable to present any action he took as an anti-regulator to warn the Nation about the three fraud epidemics, any effective action he took to stop those frauds, or any action he took to prosecute those frauds. He failed each of the three real “stress tests” that confronted him. Had he passed either of the first two tests we could have avoided the financial crisis. Had he passed the third test at least the fraudulent elite bank CEOs would have been imprisoned and their fraudulent proceeds confiscated so that it was clear that crime did not pay.

    Bailing out banks is not hard when a nation has a sovereign currency and the banks’ debts are denominated in that currency. Bernanke, not Geithner, delivered the vast bulk of the real bailout that transferred the banks’ losses on the fraudulent assets to the Fed and allowed Geithner to claim that TARP was “profitable.”

  3. Then there is Geithner’s related suggestion that because we saved the banking system and still managed to make money in the process, somehow we stumbled onto a reasonable approach for the future. Sure, it seemed like a bad idea during the financial crisis to have banks so big their collapse would lead to global financial ruin. But Geithner’s take-away is that it’s actually far less pernicious than would appear. If and when the panic comes, you just shovel money into the banks, get paid back (with a little profit, no less!), and go on about your business. It’s so much more practical than actually breaking up the banks, which would make a lot of bankers really, really sad. As Geithner told a Harvard economics class Sorkin sat in on, ending too-big-to-fail is “like Moby-Dick for economists or regulators. It’s not just quixotic, it’s misguided.”