Two Heads - Same Coin

I must admit, there is some sort of morbid enjoyment I receive in figuring out how terrible our current system of government and business operates in tandem.

In the example I'd like to show to you today, I will discuss Tim Geithner.

First, from Matt Taibbi, who has been chronicling the Wall Street bailout since its inception.
Geithner and Ben Bernanke continued a bailout policy that rewarded the very people who were most responsible for the crisis.
This is understandable and supported by many facts and first hand accounts.  People saw what Geithner was doing as a classic tactic of tackling a problem in a manner that would first -and probably only - help large financial institutions.  To wit, Geithner's background follows along and maintains the same criticisms of Henry (Hank) Paulson's background when Paulson served as the Treasury Secretary.  Both former executives from large financial firms only to go to work for government to be seen as helping only large financial firms.

Then, there's this tidbit from Paul Krugman Friday:
Jimmy Cayne’s reaction to Tim Geithner’s reluctance to bail out Bear Stearns:
“The audacity of that [punk] in front of the American people announcing he was deciding whether or not a firm of this stature and this whatever was good enough to get a loan,” he said. “Like he was the determining factor, and it’s like a flea on his back, floating down underneath the Golden Gate Bridge …, saying, ‘Raise the bridge.’ This guy thinks he’s … He’s got nothing, except maybe a boyfriend. I’m not a good enemy. I’m a very bad enemy. But certain things really—that bothered me plenty. It’s just that for some clerk to make a decision based on what, your own personal feeling about whether or not they’re a good credit? Who … asked you? You’re not an elected officer. You’re a clerk. Believe me, you’re a clerk. I want to open up on this …, that’s all I can tell you.”

(Expurgated — even though this was reprinted in the WSJ, I’m trying to protect the dignity of the Times. And he didn’t actually say punk).
It all makes for a great soap opera really.  Jon Stewart made a joke on his show about this all becoming a great movie, and he's right.  And this is by no means an effort to give Tim Geithner some sort of pass for any bad choices he's made.  Rather, I'm simply trying to point out how so much is not enough in terms of "bailing out" such large firms.  It's really quite amazing how indignant people like Jimmy Cayne can be.


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