Geithner at the Con

June 21st, 2014 by Rick Drain

Timothy Geithner was President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from five years before the recent bank crisis until he was appointed Secretary of the Treasury in 2009. In both positions, but especially at the NY Fed, he was a key figure in the government response, particularly the rescue of the financial system in the form of bailing out the big banks.

He has written a book describing his actions in context.

Former congressional staffer Matt Stoller worked on some of the key legislation post-crash, and wrote a fascinating review:

There are two parts to the book. The first is a set of arguments, told through his experiences during the crisis, about why bank bailouts are essential—the financial world according to Geithner. And the second is an autobiographical account of Geithner’s life.

I’ll address both of these, since they are intertwined. For as I read the book, and compared the book with what was written at the time and what was written afterwards, I noticed something odd, and perhaps too bold to say in polite company. As much as I really wanted to hear what Geithner had to say, I quickly realized that I wasn’t getting his actual side of the story. The book is full of narratives, facts, and statements that are, well, untrue, or at the very least, highly misleading. Despite its length, there are also serious omissions that suggest an intention to mislead, as well as misrepresentations of his critics’ arguments.

You can read the entire review here: