Fox in Charge of Hen House
I’ve poked fun at Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for his failure to properly pay his income taxes for five years before being nominated to be Treasury Secretary. I’ve even expressed amazement that we actually have someone like this heading Treasury, which is, after all, in charge of making sure Americans properly pay their income taxes.
Based on a new, extensive investigative report by the New York Times, that’s the least of his problems. As president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank (the position he held before Secretary of Treasury), he ignored many of the banking industry’s reckless practices that led to the economic crisis he’s now in charge of fixing. He also became so clubby with the executives of the biggest financial institutions on Wall Street that all of his bailout decisions are seriously compromised.
He’s no less compromised than President Clinton’s Secretary of Treasury Robert Rubin and President George W. Bush’s Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson were during their tenures as Treasury Secretary, but the Obama administration was supposed to be different. No conflicts of interest. Main Street ahead of Wall Street.
Of course, it’s not the first time a new president has promised change and then disappointed, and it won’t be the last. It’s still disillusioning. Under Geithner’s leadership, American taxpayers are on the hook for trillions of dollars to Geithner’s buddies, who’re still hoarding money instead of lending it and still rewarding themselves while millions of Americans find themselves in desperate straits.
Employers on Main Street continue to lay people off. They continue to go out of business. Their employees and former employees wait for change. As long as a fox is in charge of the hen house, change is a mirage.