FAILWATCH: Here are all five segments of Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s Daily Show appearance this week:








Source: The Daily Show

Category: Bailouts, Economy, Really, really bad calls, Video

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

16 Responses to “The Daily Show: Timothy Geithner Extended Interview”

  1. gdd9000 says:

    If you know nothing of the details of the crisis and response, his defense almost seems plausible. It all boils down to :
    1) Holy shate, major crisis, what do we do guyz?
    2) If we fail, ZOMFG great depression 2!!!
    3) We can’t fail, because, um, wow, lots of people will get hurt, and maybe a couple of us VIP types
    4) OK, take the course of action that is least likely to not work, regardless of winners and losers that are people, because the system must be preserved or ZOMFG GD2.
    5) We KNOW that THIS course of action (the one taken) leads to eventually system reboot, and eventual bringing back of the status quo, and we dont care a whole lot beyond lip service who bears the cost
    6) Any other alternative rescue had a higher chance of not working, therefore could not be taken, so you all are just annoying me to no end, and lets not discuss any of those other options.

    I mean, it’s really convincing in a way, when you just wave your hand and assume that his premise of the course of action taken being the only logical one that has the highest chance of preventing GD2. But the cost was GD2 lite, and those bearing the cost are real people, and the people that set up a system that put us in this spot havent really been held responsible. People that wanted homes and didnt have a financial education decent enough to understand they were making bad decisions cant be held accountable for setting up a crooked financial system. Yet they pay for its failures, and the rescuers are busy reconstituting it. I wonder if they’ll profit so handsomely from the next system fail.

    This Geithner creature is truly reprehensible, and with any luck, once real history has been written many years from now, he’ll be sitting cozily in a chapter with Greenspan and other economic policy charlatans, seen truly for what they are – handmaidens for TPTB.

  2. DeltaV says:

    Is this the same Timothy Geithner who as the head of the FRBNY (NY Fed) illegally tipped off the banks he was regulating as to Fed policy decisions in 2007-2008, and was caught by another Fed Governor, as revealed by Reuters from the official Fed transcripts released in 2013? In other words, a criminal who (like so many others) was not prosecuted, but instead promoted, for being intimate with the banks he was supposed to be regulating?

    Must be a different Timothy Geithner.

  3. Art says:

    This is total BS. Blah, blah.etc.
    Who was in charge before the crisis???

  4. DeDude says:

    This is what I love about The Daily Show. A very intelligent interviewer who has taken the time to learn about the subject before he talk with the guest. Then he is taking all the time needed to get through the subject and not allowing the guest to just “run out the clock” with some BS answers. Yes you have to go to the internet to get the rest of it, but that is not a big deal in todays society.

  5. cjcpa says:

    Art, I believe Geithner was in charge of the NY Fed “before the crises.”
    At least, that’s what I read on this blog in 2008, 2009, etc.

    Turbo Tax Timmy.

    I have tuned out of politics as “not a good use of my time.” The appointment of a known tax cheat was the start of the end of it for me. I mean, the endless war brought on by Red Team bothered me. But then Blue Team likes endless war too. Red Team brings us FISA, Blue Team keeps it. Red Team Guantanamo, Blue Team Guantanamo. Ad nauseum. [Ok, to be honest, Obama voted for FISA, so both teams brought us that.]

    I’ll have to dredge my memory for that Financial Crises deck of cards that was posted here… I think Geithner was the Joker, but somebody feel free to correct me…. Whenever I think of him, I recall him in that color palette.


  6. Seaton says:

    BR, I thank you for posting all the parts of the interview. I found it striking how “in my words, in my world” Geitner—and remarkably many others—are desperately convinced that if they ‘sell’ their story long enough, rebutting presented positions and points with their story (routinely ignoring the presented point), that they’ll be believed by sufficient numbers of citizens to be kept in power/office.
    Isn’t this precisely the, “…The Emperor’s new clothes! Aren’t they wonderful!?” fable?
    I’m fascinated by his telling words of “we were operating within our constraints,” but doesn’t call-out precisely those directly responsible for exacerbating this debacle, i.e. Congressmen & Senators that could be persuaded to vote for sounder ideas & execution, and just didn’t have the votes for legislation we desired. But, the “we” he seems to be talking about ain’t nearly like John at the corner that lost his house—a simple house painter—and voted routinely Republican, thinking the was making a difference against “THOSE” Democrats. Thought he’d see Obama be one term, Republicans would come back in, and ‘save’ him his crushing outstanding mortgage & 50% drop in house price. (Died broken, 2 years ago now)
    The obvious omission of the importance to this whole melt-down to me is just how well “obstructionists” succeeded, and the Democrat Party’s inability to message as well as slick, bumper-sticker-bon-mot’s of Republicans (“Keep your Hope, all I’ve got left is Change,” ad infinitum). Add in eroneous arguments that are presented, as opposed to your sound approach, and no wonder the Democrat Party can’t win-over the Democrats, forget the Republicans’ votes. No wonder Republicans ‘win’, full of sound and fury and unable to follow a sound economics’ theory towards success (supply-side twaddle). And, worst of all, we have all brought this on upon ourselves by voting in those that con us into voting for them, regardless of character & acumen towards helping “All” Americans, instead of those priviledged few.

  7. BennyProfane says:

    Eh, it’s all been forgotten, anyway. Waiting not for the repeat, but, at least the rhyme.

  8. unormal says:

    His rhetoric is great, and honestly he’s probably right, don’t jail everyone while GD2 is looming. Stabilize the system, get the economy back on track, don’t rock the boat.

    Now we’re good.

    Time to bring the hammer of justice to bear.

  9. louis says:

    So the first premise is to trust the undisputed fact that if we did not rescue the banks we would of had a Great Depression?

  10. lucas says:

    “Housing has still not recovered adequately” If you ask Jon what he means by recovered, he would probably say prices going up to what they were before they came down. This makes no sense. Housing prices were in a fever. Recovery in such a context means the fever comes down. In fact, in many communities, housing has yet to fully recover from its fever and prices are still too high. I feel sorry for people who were snookered by real estate agents to buy at fever prices and now their houses are underwater, but the fact is they paid too much money. Meanwhile, the agents took their outsized commissions and ran. The sellers took their outsized profit and ran. The lenders took their outsized interest and ran. All parties except the buyer knew perfectly well what they were doing. One lesson we learned is that the agents’ mantra that houses are worth whatever someone is willing to pay is not exactly true.

    The bubble was not the making and bundling of subprime mortgages. The bubble was the inflated prices of houses. The definition of a bubble is prices higher than justified by the fundamentals. One of the fundamentals of housing is that wages pay the payments. When median house prices go beyond about 2-3 times median wages, a bubble is beginning to inflate. In my community, house price/wage ratio went as high as 16 and right now, at about 10, is still far too high.

  11. lucas says:

    Barry, could you please do something about video links auto-playing. It is annoying when one link does so. It is especially aggravating when five start playing at once.


    ADMIN: It doesnt autoplay on a Mac, should have checked it on the a PC. I’ll add a page break so you have to open it 1st

  12. jtuck004 says:

    I think we should hook Geithner up to electrodes and every time he uses that little obfuscation “panic” he winds up writhing on the ground. He paid off his bankster friends of his at the continuing expense of everyone else and this country. As bad as Bush was, these people may be even more destructive.

    Btw, TImonty. “Panic”? “Run”? It’s not a panic when Billy the Kid makes a withdrawal during a robbery, it’s theft. And what the banksters did by leveraging so much debt, banksters who donated a lot to the Democratic Party to pay for this excuse factory and their good times, was theft. After their friends pulled down the barriers that had kept the country safe for so long.

    Malcom X once said “If the master’s house caught on fire, the house Negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would. If the master got sick, the house Negro would say, “What’s the matter, boss, we sick?” We sick! He identified himself with his master more than his master identified with himself.”

    I think of Geithner, and nearly every one in every administration since Jimmy Carter every time I read this quote, but it seems like it is becoming more real all the time.

    Until we decide to no longer enable them, the rest of us are just field workers.

  13. MikeR44 says:

    Great discussion. Thanks for putting on your site. Maybe it wouldn’t have fit into this conversation, but Geitner needs someone to brace him on the illegalities the financial institutions committed, all the fines they paid and the continued lack of accountability, despite Dodd-Frank, etc, Without serious penalties for those involved, the system remains at risk as the big financial companies will continue to take on excessive risk knowing the public is always there to bail them out via the members of Congress these wealthy institutions have in their pocket.

  14. mkulas says:

    First time caller, long time listener. Like 6 years or more.

    I’ve seen The Daily Show while I lived in NYC. John Stewart is a professional. I am amazed at how hard he works and how good he is.

    Jon Stewart owned him, and then Tim relents. “… Let’s agree the math thing is sort of dumb”. Part 3, 6:50. Are you kidding me?

    I think his biggest gripe is that the people who present themselves as newscasters often do less work to present arguments, do less homework. News is essentially a lowest common denominator game. In this spot, he tries to cut through the nuanced BS, but it’s tough to do, and I doubt the public has enough bandwidth to really get outraged.

    I’ve also talked to a guy selling CDOs. He knew it was going to blow up, and used it as a personal opportunity to buy their own real estate in NYC in 2009. Tim essentially defends these guys, saying misused derivatives were not an issue…

    I suggest people (also) read Bull By The Horns, Sheila Bair, for another account.

  15. [...] and has been doing the television circuit promoting it. On every program from Charlie Rose to The Daily Show, Geithner has been expounding upon the position he was in between 2007 and 2013 , his approach to [...]

  16. J Bulworth says:

    (First time poster impressed by the amount of knowledge in this blog thread. Kudos.)

    Jon Stewart interviewed Timothy Geithner about his book and the bailout that he engineered with Henry Paulson. Stewart pulled no punches in this interview and displayed a thorough knowledge of the different aspects of the Wall Street bailout. Regretfully though, Stewart focused only on the assistance provided to the banks while Americans with underwater mortgages received so little. We believe Stewart should have focused on the cost of the bailout and the enormous government giveaway to the banks.

    We do not object to the necessity of the bailout. A complete collapse of an overleveraged financial system was certainly possible. This would have meant a global depression with collapses of economies and even governments, here and abroad. Such a systemic collapse would have inflicted far more catastrophic damage than we ultimately experienced and this indeed benefitted the greater populace.

    Still, we vehemently object to the terms of the bailout and this is what we believe Jon Stewart missed. The comment reprinted below {see the comment on the link} shows how the government effectively gave away the bailout. Instead of providing preferred equity at a 5% rate and loans at 0% – 0.125% interest rates, the government should have taken 95% – 99% of the common equity and refinanced bondholders with par value discounts of 30% – 90% depending on the security of their notes. (Perhaps a lower discount for collateralized lenders would have been justified.) Further, the enormous bailout of AIG paid its trading counterparties 100 cents on the dollar when these financial firms should have taken 10% – 90% haircuts too.

    The question of the 2008-9 bailout was not the necessity to avoid a systemic collapse. The question was why the government did not make the stock and bond investors in the banks suffer the majority of the cost instead of the government providing the capital at absurdly cheap rates for essentially bankrupt institutions.