Friday, January 25, 2013

Tim Toots His Horn


TFG Younger-1


Today is the last day that Tim Geithner will be Treasury Secretary. The Treasury Department has a blog post that highlights Tim’s contributions. Coming from his co-workers, you’d expect fluff and accolades, and that is what was dished up (I’m sure Tim edited every word). The post lists 75 “accomplishments”. I found a few of those interesting.


64. He played basketball with Chinese high school students in Beijing and swung a cricket bat in India.




55. Secretary Geithner and the President fought for and extended the payroll tax cut at the end of 2011 payroll tax cut despite fierce opposition.


Yeah, Tim fought hard for spending bucks during the big election year. What happened 6 weeks after the election? Tim and Obama ramped those payroll taxes back up. # 55 should read: “TG got the PR tax extended, it proved to be a factor in the election. It was good deal for the Administration, it only cost the taxpayers $125 billion.”



59. During Secretary Geithner’s tenure, Treasury chaired the Partnership for Arab Countries in Transition, and initiating other measures to strengthen institutions and markets in support of the Arab Spring.


I’m thinking Tim’s bank, The Federal Financing Bank, was making loans for weapons? Anyway, it’s hard to look at N. Africa and the rest of the ME and call it a success.




And while we’re on the topic of the FFB, how about all the other stuff that happened under Tim’s watch?







58. During Secretary Geithner’s tenure, Treasury deepened its relationship with Chinese leaders









57. Secretary Geithner repeatedly made the moral case for ending the high-income tax cuts


Moral case?


54. Secretary Geithner was one of the principal negotiators with Congress during the bipartisan December 2010 tax compromise.


Yes, yes – but  – Where was he on the crucial negotiations on the Debt Limit in July 2011? We got a downgrade that Tim said would never happen, the economy and markets tanked because of that fiasco. The T-Sec was decidedly missing in that mess. That is what he should be remembered for.



53. Secretary Geithner was part of the economic team that developed the comprehensive, specific set of proposals in the Presidents FY 2013 Budget…..


Please! Spare me! The US has not had a budget for a single day that Tim has been running the show. That is a disgraceful result.



49. During Secretary Geithner’s tenure, the Treasury building became what is believed to be the oldest building in the world to receive a Leadership in Energy Design Gold certification.


The folks at Treasury digging deep to connect Tim to the environment with this. My bet is Tim has no clue how the building is heated. Like most of the stuff from D.C.; form over substance.



47. Secretary Geithner ordered the elimination of the minting of the dollar coins.


Unbelievable….. The coins were costing $50m a year and no one wanted them. Any idiot could have seen this. Tim takes credit for the obvious.



46. ..the weighted average maturity of Treasury securities is now at its longest level in a decade – and is up nearly 33 percent since October 2008.


Tim’s taking credit for this? This could never have happened were it not for Bernanke QEing for the entire time Tim was selling paper. What the Treasury does not give Tim proper credit for is the increase in Debt. In Tim’s 1,460 days debt increased $5.8 TRILLION! A , a 182% increase!!



45.  During Secretary Geithner’s tenure, Treasury proposed more than $1.1 billion in savings.


Yes, but actually only achieved half of that. Geithner spent $50B in his four years just turning the lights on at Treasury. The damn IRS is costing $12B a year! For bean-counters!



41. During Secretary Geithner’s tenure, Treasury worked to support lending for families. For example, more than 1 million student loans….


Tim looks at this an accomplishment. I look at as an off-balance sheet stimulus to the economy. I think Tim abused student lending. I think Tim set the country up for another Fannie Mae experience, where taxpayers will eat a loss due to government lending.





39. Secretary Geithner has pushed the regulatory agencies with rulewriting authority to move quickly but diligently in implementing Wall Street reform.






9.  During Secretary Geithner’s tenure, Treasury completed the wind down of the portfolio of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) it acquired as part of its response to the financial crisis.


Great! Tim Sold the Bonds to the Fed! To say that this is an accomplishment is a deception.




13.  Secretary Geithner will be the eleventh longest serving Treasury Secretary in the Department’s history.


This is an accomplishment. I can’t believe he made it this long. I think he should have been dumped after the Turbo Tax problem.



10.  Secretary Geithner has made 24 appearances on Sunday morning talk shows.


And in every one of them he had a smarmy, know-it-all attitude.




16.  Secretary Geithner was born in New York City but spent much of his childhood outside the United States in Zimbabwe….


…..where he first became enamored with devaluing a currency to achieve “success”.




Anyway, I feel like I owe Tim some thanks. He gave me a bunch of stories the last few years.. Most of those were at Tim’s expense. Like in the the Godfather, it was only business, nothing personal.




  1. I agree you should thank him and the entire administration for great material to work with. If you ever run out of graffiti I work at a rail yard and have tons of great stuff. Thanks for you blog!

  2. You misse number 47:
    Secretary Geithner was the first US Treasury Secretary to have Chines college students laugh in his face

    • #47 …. Geithner was the first US Treasury Secretary to tell Chinese students that US Treasury debt was money good — AND THEN they laughed in his face.

      In Chinese culture, it is considered a major insult (toward the guest) to offend a guest, especially a supposedly elder/senior guest like a foreign official. Chinese culture would dictate that the students just “withhold their applause” (sort of the equivalent of a fake smile toward an adversary in the west).

      That they would openly (and loudly) laugh at Geithner — right to his face — shows they have zero respect for the boy … um man? That the Chinese government did not discipline the students (or offer apology to Obama or Geithner) shows the Timmy mocking was at least sanctioned if not encouraged by very senior Chinese government.officials.

      Geithner is considered a world-wide joke by everyone outside the Obama administration and their puppet media flakes. And more than a few domestic people think the man is an unethical crook who would be in prison if not for his political connections

  3. Am I the only one that thinks Geithner looks like a rat?

  4. 76. Secretary Geithner was able to report all of his income on his tax returns all four years of his tenure, successfully navigating the complications of his single government-issued W-2 form.

  5. “People close to the S.E.C. note, however, that her husband, John W. White, is a veteran of the agency. From 2006 through 2008, he was head of the S.E.C.’s division of corporation finance, which oversees public companies’ disclosures and reporting.”
    If her husband oversaw” public companies’ disclosures and reporting,”
    than he knew of the TAF etc… loan cover-up and did nothing.

    If she files suit against a wall street exec accused of insider trading and SARBOX violations which her husband didn’t bother to enforce, how is that not a conflict of interest?

    Or is she not going to go after them?

  6. Regarding Item #46, an increase in average maturity was already built in to the debt portfolio. The average maturity of a front-loaded portfolio tends to increase automatically. See:


    Also, there was no mention that the median maturity of all the debt is only 36 months, and that the median maturity of new issues is only 19 months: