|Alyssa A. Lappen|
|10 Dec 2008|
By Alyssa A. Lappen
FrontPageMagazine | Dec. 10, 2008
The first market day after President-elect Obama announced plans to appoint Federal Reserve Bank of New York president Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, U.S. equities rose 6.5%. Pundits praised his experience handling crises and understanding of the troubled economy. But possibly, the market hoopla was premature, or even unwarranted. Some analysts seek his retirement.
As turmoil built, Geithner criticized Wall Street’s self-regulatory system, negative incentives and market forces, sought tighter supervision and berated insufficient “derivative securities” regulation and “credit-default” swaps allowing investors to “insure” against loses—only to fail. The Treasury Department’s former attaché to the International Monetary Fund had overseen U.S. responses to the 1990s Mexican, Indonesian and Korean bailouts. But at the Fed, Geithner did not use regulatory powers to check abuses, or advocate for more regulation, impartial supervision or new laws. He even concluded that markets were improving—and after Bear Stearns’ collapse confessed, nobody “understands [the causes] yet.”
Worst of all, since Nov. 2003, Geithner let dangerous new Islamic and shari’a-based securities, markets and financial institutions gain business currency—despite the Fed’s role in U.S. monetary policy, currency distribution, government securities markets, legal supervision, regulatory enforcement, bank and capital markets investigation, foreign accounts and a payments mechanism handling over $4 trillion daily in funds and securities transfers. Not to mention Fed officials’ admitted lack of understanding.
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