As the pile of revelations regarding the NY Fed’s bailout of AIG gets deeper and uglier, the sense that Treasury Secretary — and former NY Fed President — is a short timer.

On the interview with Jim Bianco, he mentioned Geithner was a dead man walking — and He has been for sometime. The White House is just waiting for the right time to dump him.

That might be true — and changing the preserve the status quo parts of the Economic team is a good idea.

But what does that say about Summers? In some quarters, he is the most important person on the planet — Politico shows the President’s calendar everyday. He has a daily economic briefing at 10AM everyday when he is in town.

This briefing is run by Summers.

In other words, Summers controls the economic information flow to the President. With this as a job description, Treasury Secretary is a step down . . .

Category: Bailouts, Politics

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19 Responses to “Geithner: Dead Man Walking?”

  1. ToNYC says:

    Make that two Dead Men Walking….

  2. DeDude says:

    Question is to what degree Summers is allowed to filter the information that flows to the president. This is not Bush. Obama is known to demand hearing alternative opinions and get alternative options. But off course the guy you talk with on an almost daily basis will eventually get more influence than the guy you talk with once a month. But clearly it would signal a lot more change if they get rid of Summers or shift him to another job, at the same time that they whack Timmy.

  3. In other words, Summers controls the economic information flow to the President.

    Sounds like a job for a prankster. Wouldn’t that be fun? :)

    The question is would things be any different?

  4. Question is to what degree Summers is allowed to filter the information that flows to the president.

    I’m pretty sure he doesn’t alter anything the shadow government tells him to say to the POTUS ;)

  5. I know this is OT, but what happened to the quote of the day?

  6. The Curmudgeon says:

    Gunther was nominated and appointed to be fired. It’d be the best thing ever happened to him. I’m sure Goldman has a sweet little position as an “advisor” awaiting him.

    Obama will try to use Geithner to deflect attention from Bernanke. But which one is more to blame for the financial/housing market bubble and then bust? I’ll give you a hint–the New York Fed, while thinking itself more equal than the rest of the fed branches–the AIG bailout being exhibit A–did not and does not set monetary policy. Always follow the money to its source. It’s source was Greenspan first, Bernanke later.

  7. wally says:

    “With this as a job description, Treasury Secretary is a step down . . .”

    Succinct.

    As far as Geithner, he has made more $$$ for Goldman than any other person on the planet. If he can’t parley that into a decent job, post government employment, then he probably couldn’t figure out something like TurboTax, either.

  8. HoldYourHorses says:

    Summers’ clout is annoying and disturbing given the track record. However, shouldn’t we take heart in the Volcker’s smirk as he apparently was given an ear (and Geithner pushed to the side figuratively and literally), and the president apparently took Volcker’s advice? If Summers is truly owning the president’s data, how is it that Volcker got “the win” last week? What do you say?

  9. TDL says:

    Summers at Treasury would be significantly less destructive than Summers @ the head of the Fed. If the firing of Geithner happens, let’s hope it happens quickly in case Bernanke does not get renominated and Summers has two positions to pick from. If Summers does have considerable influence (and I imagine he does), he will aggressively lobby to be the next Fed chief (truly the most powerful position in the world.)

    Regards,
    TDL

  10. franklin411 says:

    Poor composition, Barry: “On the interview with Jim Bianco, he mentioned Geithner was a dead man walking — and He has been for sometime. The White House is just waiting for the right time to dump him.”

    It’s unclear who “he” is. Are you trying to say that Jim Bianco mentioned that Geithner is DOA? Or are you trying to say that Jim Bianco interviewed someone who mentioned that Geithner is DOA?

    Anyway, Geithner seems to have been brought in for a specific reason: to reassure Wall Street and provide stability until the credit paralysis was brought to an end. I wouldn’t have a problem with him staying or going.

    The one who really needs to go is Summers.

  11. Darkness says:

    Oh, good old Larry “let’s put Harvard’s 2 billion in CASH at risk along with the entire endowment” Summers.

  12. km4 says:

    If Obama was smart ( and not a supplicant of Wall St and Golman Sachs ) he would replace Summers with Stigltiz ( they don’t like one another )

    But not going to happen!

  13. [...] Put FusionIQ CEO Barry Ritholtz on the growing list of folks who think Tim Geithner’s days as Treasury Secretary may be [...]

  14. Mike in Nola says:

    Bloomberg had an article on this topic with a great snarky title

    Goldman Parachute Awaits Geithner to Ease Fall
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a5ybwwGkJJXw

    The basic thesis was that getting rid of Geithner would take the heat off Obama and at the same time would allow Geithner to get his reward from GS.

  15. foxmuldar says:

    It doesn’t matter if Geithner gets fired or if Bernanke keeps his job. We all have known for a long time that Geithner gave special favors to his pals at GS and AIG. According to Marc Faber, were all doomed.

    As the video show, Faber simply cannot imagine how the US debt problem can be solved and concludes, “It’s a total disaster, we’re all doomed… we’re doomed.”

    http://foxmuldar-conservative-thinker.blogspot.com/2010/01/fabers-take-on-us-debt-were-all-doomed.html

  16. Bloomberg had an article on this topic with a great snarky title

    Goldman Parachute Awaits Geithner to Ease Fall

    So can we say that Boomberg and Goldman are officially enemies and that we can count on them at least somewhat to fight the good fight against them?

  17. jdlfla says:

    The problem with dumping Geithner now is that it would spark confirmation hearings for his successor which the Republicans will turn into a vicious gladiatorial circus. It is hard to see how that benefits Obama at this point. Geithner is probably safe until November – or at least until the fall – when he would be a more useful human sacrifice to help stem Dem losses in the 2010 election.

    Volcker’s – and, by extension – Elizabeth Warren’s sudden return to prominence suggest that Summers will continue to lose influence and will eventually leave. He was chosen by and continues to have the support of Rahm Emmanuel, but he, too, is headed for the exits once the 2010 election is over.

  18. [...] Geithner is not playing from a position of strength.  (Big Picture, Economist’s [...]