Should Geithner Go?

Last week Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the AIG bailout.  During his testimony members of the committee, both Republican and Democrat, vociferously complained about his role in the bailout and called for him to step down as Treasury Secretary.

The bailout of AIG came in 2008, when Henry Paulson was Treasury Secretary.  Geithner was president of the New York Fed and played, at most, a supporting role.

While the congress critters were screaming at Geithner and calling for his resignation for something he did in his previous position and not for what he’s done as Treasury Secretary, I began to wonder.

First I began to wonder if they thought Secretary Geithner had not learned anything from previous mistakes.  I’m reminded of a couple of quotes from T. J. Watson, an early head of IBM:

“Would you like me to give you a formula for… success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You’re thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all… you can be discouraged by failure / or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember that’s where you’ll find success. On the far side.”

“Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience?”

Second, to the congress critters, if you’re so smart about finance and economics, why aren’t you Treasury Secretary?

Third, Geithner calmly but forcefully refuted all their flawed assertions.  Didn’t they see how foolish that made them look?

Finally, it dawned on me that these guys were more intent on looking for someone to blame, thinking that would appeal to their constituents and improve their hopes for re-election, rather than asking what can be done to help solve these problems.

Me, I’m rooting for those who look at ways to solve problems and not look for someone to blame.



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23 responses to “Should Geithner Go?

  1. I wonder how many congressional critters are willing to blame themselves for being part of creating an unregulated market place.

    • dnd

      For anyone wondering what the 2010 election season will look like, check out the Campaign for Liberty’s web site:

      They are already saturating the airwaves in Colorado supporting Republican candidate Ken Buck (America’s conservative values) for the Senate seat currently held by Democrat Michael Bennett (who was appointed by Democratic Governor Bill Ritter when Democratic Senator Ken Salazar was tapped to be Secretary of the Interior).

  2. nannymm

    I doubt any of them are, Brian. They’re great at blaming others; they carry on like idiots at those hearings with the way they scream and holler accusations at the “witnesses.” Their self-righteous indignation is so damned phony. But when it comes time to acknowledge that they have made mistakes they have nothing to say. Everything is always the other guy’s fault.

    Excellent post, dnd. I don’t think Tim Geithner should go. Let’s give him the time to get the job done. He has the experience to do it. If he’s booted out now, whoever replaces him would have a steep learning curve.
    I also like the points you make about experience and learning from mistakes. Most intelligent people learn from their mistakes and don’t repeat them.

  3. “Robert Taft wing of the party” that’s funny, good catch on that one d!

  4. TempeBev

    Hi everyone – back from our 14 day cruise thru the Panama canal. Missed you. Worst souvenir – the norovirus! Guess a lot happened while we were gone. When I feel better, I may write a post about my opinion of cruising. Keep up the good work and comments.

  5. Hey Bev,
    Welcome back, sucks that you got sick. Tell us about going through the canal!

  6. dooty

    anyone else get this in the inbox today?

    Dear Dooty,

    Delivering the petitions
    to Speaker Pelosi

    It’s been a little more than a week since smirking Justice Alito tried to auction our country off to the highest bidder, and we’re not going to let Saudi Arabia or Exxon buy our democracy.

    Over 205,000 people have signed petitions to support our initiatives to restrain corporate money and save our democracy. On Friday, I delivered your petitions to Speaker Pelosi. She knows that our democracy is in peril, and she now knows that you will support her if she delivers forceful reforms.

    Many of my House colleagues understand the threat as well. Rep. Bill Pascrell has introduced a bill to ban foreign interference in our elections. Rep. Mike Capuano has introduced a bill to strengthen shareholder rights over electioneering decisions. And committee hearings are going to start next week to delve into what is the best way to defend our nation from this threat.

    As we move forward, we will begin to examine these bills, cosponsor some of them, and encourage our movement to drive them through Congress.

    Throughout the process, though, the message to Speaker Pelosi and everyone else in Congress is very simple: Corporations should not be able to buy our elections. We are not going to accept the Supreme Court’s radical injustice. We are going to save our democracy.

    In times of crisis, as Howard Zinn noted, it has always been the people who saved the republic. This is our time.


    Alan Grayson
    Member of Congress
    Click here to contribute

    Paid for by the Committee to Elect Alan Grayson

  7. I despise the blame game….I think it shows a lack of mental capacity, inferiority issues …..and it’s very unattractive.

    Now the whole “Valentine from Colorado’s Sweetheart City” that’s a winner….even though after all these years I don’t even think I will get a card. 😦

  8. Such an important holiday it required two posts?

  9. dog's eye view

    Stickers is very sweet and they, luckily, are very bundled up.

    And here I thought Stickers would be weather forecasting ….

    With respect to Tim Geithner: sticky wicket. He may very well have saved us from a Depression AND he may have become inured to Wall Street’s value system (or lack thereof).

    I think he’s a good man, and a smart one, and the administration now realizes the measure of anger at financial self-dealing and risk taking.

    To remember about Scott Brown’s election: the big story the week preceding was how bankers and Wall Street would finesse paying themselves these huge bonuses in this economic climate.

    I don’t think that vote was much about healthcare at all.

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