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« Jim Chanos Warned The G7 In Secret Meetings And No One Listened | Main | The Fed Gets Busted: Wednesday Links (30 Articles, Aug. 26, 2009) »
Wednesday
Aug262009

What Would You Ask Tim Geithner? (Alan Murray Interviews The Treasury Secretary With Reader-Submitted Questions From Digg)

I wish we had known about this ahead of time.  It's our mistake for missing it and not alerting readers.  The questions submitted and voted by Digg users were outstanding.  Tougher and more intelligent questioning than I've seen in any interview of Timmaaay, including Fareed Zakaria's commendable effortSteve Liesman and Erin Burnett should seek solace under a rock considering their feeble attempts with the Treasury Secretary.

The disadvantage for us is that because of the public nature of voting (Digging) the submitted questions, Turbo knew ahead of time what would be asked and was fully prepared with rehearsed answers.  Still the questions were so aggressive and critical in nature that TG couldn't help but squirm through many of them.

I've had a draft post half-written for 8 weeks entitled Ten Questions For Geithner And Summers.  One of these days I'll get around to completing it, but the first question on my list is the most glaring omission from the Digg final 10 and is the same that I posed to Simon Johnson and Brad Delong:

  • In the discussion of bank losses, why are taxpayers asked and expected to bear the entire loss, while bank bondhholders who recklessly lent trillions to risky bank management teams, are spared completely from this discussion?  They knowingly took the investment risk in search of higher returns and they aren't even being asked to forfeit a penny on their bond holdings.  It is criminal, conspiratorial and reeks of Treasury capture.  What say you, Mr. Secretary?

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Top 10 Questions Submitted and Voted on by Digg Users

  • Why has the federal reserve bank never been audited?
  • Goldman Sachs is a large, profit seeking company which you were/are a part of. Isn't it a conflict of interest to funnel tax dollars into this private company using your new power as Secretary of the Treasury, keeping in mind that you and your old buddies benefit monetarily? Maybe I'm mistaken, but isn't this a textbook example of political corruption?
  • What is your position on Ron Paul's House Resolution 1207? (Which as of the writing of this question has 282 cosponsors.) http://www.auditthefed.com/
  • You failed to pay some of your federal taxes in 2001. And in 2002. And in 2003. And in 2004. Please explain.
  • How do you feel about the revolving door between high job positions in the treasury and Goldman Sachs?
  • Last week you requested that Congress raise the $12.1 trillion statutory debt limit, saying that it could be breached as early as mid-October. This is in addition to the increase already approved in February this year to accommodate the added debt from the $787 Billion stimulus plan. How is this anything other than runaway government spending? What will it take for us to see US debt go the other direction?
  • Why is the government only supporting aging and increasingly obsolete car makers? You've given an extraordinary amount of money to GM, but the government has failed to encourage new, innovative, and cleaner forms of personal transportation such as produced by Tesla Motors. Why has TARP money not been invested in companies such as Tesla, and will the government support similar companies in the future?
  • Are you, yourself, troubled by the massive amount of government spending? What do you think will happen to the dollar over the next 10 years?
  • You are a member of the Federal Reserve, a group that so thoroughly mismanaged our monetary policy that they helped create a massive housing bubble because of foolish loans and speculation enabled by low interest rates, and then you were involved in a horribly mismanaged bailout that hasn't freed up credit markets and can't even account for all the money it spent. Why are you running the Treasury Department?
  • You've amended your tax returns for the years 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006 and found that you've owed an additional $31,536 http://finance.senate.gov/press/Bpress/2009press/prb011309d.pdf ... Giving you the benefit of a doubt (that you are neither inept nor corrupt but were simply overwhelmed by an overly complex system), what recommendations do you have for simplifying the tax code?

 

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Reader Comments (29)

Fareed Zakaria with Geithner

http://dailybail.com/home/fareed-zakaria-interviews-tim-geithner-gps-clip.html

By far the best of the group...
Aug 26, 2009 at 7:11 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
C'mon people...what questions would you ask Tim Geithner if you had the chance...?

I might be amused by both serious and funny answers. And then we can package them up and send them to Geithner's by registered mail...and then I'll keep sending them by registered mail every week until he responds...

So let's go...
Aug 26, 2009 at 3:50 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
The Daily Dare…

Post this…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3u5Nd9i1UiA

You posted the preview for Michael Moore, now be fair and balanced and post the preview for Alex Jones – Fall of the Republic.

OR

Delete this post and…well…you know the and…

Free Speech, Free Gobias!
Aug 26, 2009 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterGobias Bluth
Ha! Some of the ones that didn't make it are pretty good...

-- How do you sleep at night?

--Why aren't you in prison for tax evasion?

--Who in their right mind would buy a 30 year US treasury bond today?

--Will you please tell us all where we can find the "evade" menu in TurboTax?

--How does printing lots of money help problems that were created by printing too much money?

But after watching some of the interview, I'd have to go back to the question you posed a while ago DB:

--Is it just me or does this guy have a perpetual case of stupid face?


@ Gobias

Start a blog already. Your recent posts are just annoying. I get it, NoBama. I'm a libertarian, don't like him either. What on this site has led you to believe that it's favorable towards Obama and his administration?
Aug 26, 2009 at 9:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterallie
Gobias

You still are missing the basic distinction...the Michael Moore clip was about causing trouble at AIG...making a fuss over the bailouts...What does the Alex Jones clip have to do with the bailouts...

Allie's Q is dead on...what about this site makes you think we love Obama...our whole point (ask Gompers and he'll explain again) is that BOTH parties are basically the same...they attempt to divide the electorate (banker's manifesto of 1892) meanwhile the influence of lobbying grows and certain corporate interests further solidify control...no matter which side might temporarily be in control...

I consider you rather un-evolved politically if you're still fighting with one side against the other...and that's exactly what you're doing...how could you be so fooled...i mean this seriously...you present yourself as a thinker but you show little evidence of thought...wake up...and for once answer my questions...
Aug 26, 2009 at 11:26 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Allie.

I forgot all about the stupid face comment...i liked these questions:

--Will you please tell us all where we can find the "evade" menu in TurboTax?

--How does printing lots of money help problems that were created by printing too much money?
Aug 26, 2009 at 11:42 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Allie, please don't read my posts and I promise not to read yours.

GB
Aug 27, 2009 at 12:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterGobias Bluth
Dailybail...

It appears that you are still convinced at least.

He who has no falcon, must hunt with owls.
Aug 27, 2009 at 12:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterGobias Bluth
Gobias.

Allie can take care of herself, and doesn't need my help, but her comments to you were entirely in line with my own...

You treat this site as your own personal Nobama dumping ground, and somehow you have alienated a bunch of people who also do not support Obama...

That is an accomplishment...
Aug 27, 2009 at 12:47 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Read this Gobias and tell me why McCain would have been any different...both parties are corrupted...when will you understand?

http://business.theatlantic.com/2009/08/imagining_the_deficit_under_president_john_mccain.php
Aug 27, 2009 at 12:49 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Geithner: U.S. Fed needs shielding from politics

http://www.reuters.com/article/governmentFilingsNews/idUSN2625953820090826
Aug 27, 2009 at 1:19 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
"You treat this site as your own personal Nobama dumping ground, and somehow you have alienated a bunch of people who also do not support Obama...

That is an accomplishment... "

I usually skip over the Gobias Saga comments, but this is hilarious.
Aug 27, 2009 at 1:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
I must be in a fighting mood...but I honestly grow weary of the battle between the 2 sides...there are a few impressive Republicans and a few impressive Democrats, but the political organizations themselves are corrupt and controlled by lobbyists...
Aug 27, 2009 at 1:52 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Jimmy, saga like legend, nice.

No, really, I am gutted.
Aug 27, 2009 at 2:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterGobias Bluth
Mr. Secretary,

Many are finding significant similarities between the US today and pre-revolutionary France. Do you think the public can draw any lessons from that period, and do you agree with Robespierre's argument regarding the proper punishment for those who betray a nation?
Aug 27, 2009 at 3:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaxAmerican
Robespierre would have executed half of Washington and Wall Street were he in charge here today.
Aug 27, 2009 at 3:38 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
I have a hard time watching Geithner. He's evil like the other overlords, yes, but he's also got a thick layer of nerdiness that I find interminably annoying. How could this super dorky nerd-o have been chosen for the dominating team while I was left out??? It's a primary school playground feeling of injustice that won't go away. If we were both 7, I would punch his face and make him pee in his pants.

Those were all excellent questions, but Geithner just avoids and the interviewer never pressed him into addressing the essence of some questions. Like in Q2, he KNOWS the questioner was referring to Paulson and was rightly disturbed about the Goldman/government ties yet his answer was a total whiney blowoff: 'it was not ME'. And number 9 was an awesome setup, but it gave him the opportunity to bail himself out on the answer "because the prez appointed me". Maybe it should have been "What qualifications justify your appointment as Treasury Sec?"

How about, "What gives Treasury the power to make the judgment call between the large banks/financial institutions that were artificially propped up and the small ones that have been allowed to slip out of business? Point to the section of the Constitution where it gives Treasury that power. Explain the inconsistency in Treasury's bailout execution."

Also, "Don't you think banks and financial institutions should be banned from making any contributions to government officials and/or political campaigns?"

And "Would you support the arrest of Henry Paulson on charges of fraud against the American people? If not, then you are OK with a government official ignoring legislation issued through Congress on behalf of the American people? How is this different from a dictatorship?"

It's like trying to nail jello to a wall.
Aug 27, 2009 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterSonic Ninja Kitty
Right on, SNK!
Aug 27, 2009 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered Commentermark mchugh
I think Timmmaayyyy is a stand up kind of guy. He likes to stand behind you...while you bend over. Excuse the fact that your rear end hurts like all get out and both of his hands are on your shoulders. Typical Washington people just doing what is typical in Washington....Can't wait until the FDIC insurance fund hits ZERO in a quarter or two. They have up to 500 BILLION in borrowing power. Guess that will only add to the national deficit but who cares about money in todays NEW economy?.....Have a great Depression....AB
Aug 27, 2009 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterAin't Bullshittin'
The central bank didn’t say when it would file its appeal.

Fed lawyer Kit Wheatley told Preska in a conference call today that she did not know how long it would take for the Fed board to search the New York Fed for records.

“We really don’t know what’s in New York,” Wheatley said. “We don’t control the system of record-keeping in New York.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aAOhgVw78e3U
Aug 27, 2009 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterGobias Bluth
Nothing to ask that criminal crook

Folks;

What other proof we need to revolt?

Stop making all payments to Banker thugs and let the revolution begin to end DEBT enforced slavery on us.

Fed Urges Continued Secrecy on Banks in Bailout Programs

Posted August 27th, 2009 by Michael Nystrom



NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve asked a federal judge not to enforce her order that it reveal the names of the banks that have participated in its emergency lending programs and the sums they received, saying such disclosure would threaten the companies and the economy.

The central bank filed its request on Wednesday, two days after Chief Judge Loretta Preska of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan ruled in favor of Bloomberg News, which had sought information under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

Preska said the Fed failed to show that revealing the names would stigmatize the banks and result in "imminent competitive harm." The Fed asked the judge not to require disclosure while it readies an appeal.

"Immediate release of these documents will cause irreparable harm to these institutions and to the board's ability to effectively manage the current, and any future, financial crisis," the central bank argued.

It added that the public interest favors a delay, citing a potential for "significant harms that could befall not only private companies, but the economy as a whole" if the information were disclosed.

http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSTRE57Q46920090827

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzrt7WY9nuY&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailypaul.com%2F&feature=player_embedded
Aug 27, 2009 at 6:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen
Where would you like the trial? And ......... if the decision of the pillaged citizens is thumbs down, where would you like the public hanging to take place?
Aug 27, 2009 at 10:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterV as in...
Beautiful stuff, SNK. Loved reading it. Reposted below:

I have a hard time watching Geithner. He's evil like the other overlords, yes, but he's also got a thick layer of nerdiness that I find interminably annoying. How could this super dorky nerd-o have been chosen for the dominating team while I was left out??? It's a primary school playground feeling of injustice that won't go away. If we were both 7, I would punch his face and make him pee in his pants.

Those were all excellent questions, but Geithner just avoids and the interviewer never pressed him into addressing the essence of some questions. Like in Q2, he KNOWS the questioner was referring to Paulson and was rightly disturbed about the Goldman/government ties yet his answer was a total whiney blowoff: 'it was not ME'. And number 9 was an awesome setup, but it gave him the opportunity to bail himself out on the answer "because the prez appointed me". Maybe it should have been "What qualifications justify your appointment as Treasury Sec?"

How about, "What gives Treasury the power to make the judgment call between the large banks/financial institutions that were artificially propped up and the small ones that have been allowed to slip out of business? Point to the section of the Constitution where it gives Treasury that power. Explain the inconsistency in Treasury's bailout execution."

Also, "Don't you think banks and financial institutions should be banned from making any contributions to government officials and/or political campaigns?"

And "Would you support the arrest of Henry Paulson on charges of fraud against the American people? If not, then you are OK with a government official ignoring legislation issued through Congress on behalf of the American people? How is this different from a dictatorship?"

It's like trying to nail jello to a wall.
Aug 31, 2009 at 3:22 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Here's a question you can mail to the current holder of the Goldman Sachs Chair at the U.S. Treasury: "Mr. Geithner, the next Treasury Secretary of the United States, Chris Whalen, has challenged you to an open debate on the resolution of the large, insolvent banks and how to handle the issue of the bank bondholders without screwing the taxpayer. Since you are obviously too chicken to engage Mr. Whalen in such a debate, please explain in detail why his prescription for resolving large, zombie banks like Citi is wrong. Thank you."
Aug 31, 2009 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
These are good questions...keep them coming and I will let you knwo when i compile them and send them to TG.
Sep 1, 2009 at 3:44 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
The allocation of all available capital exclusively to trading and arbitrage operations, and underwriting new and risky investment tools such as "death derivatives" (bonds and derivatives backed by individual term and whole life insurance policies), the major banks and investment houses have made it clear they have no intention of participating in the domestic economic recovery plans outlined by the Obama Administration. My question to Mr. Geithner is this: would the Administration consider, as a nuclear option, re-activating the US Bank Charter of 1791 as means of providing funds for businesses that can not get loans or lines of credit?
Sep 8, 2009 at 6:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterStanley G

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