April 21, 2009

Geithner says financial system comes first

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday the Treasury Department's first obligation was to ensure a strong financial system.

Stability itself is not enough. We need a financial system that is not deepening or lengthening the recession, Geithner told the Congressional Oversight Panel, designed as an oversight committee to monitor the country's bailout efforts.

While banks were looking for clues to see if the Treasury would allow repayment of bailout funds, Geithner said, in the context of a severe recession, letting the financial system adjust on its own would have dire consequences for the economy.

Geithner suggested healthy credit and the availability of loans was the country's first priority.

We need the financial system to support sustainable economic expansion, he said.

The financial crisis has been brutally indiscriminate, he said, causing damage on Main Streets across the nation.

Ordinary Americans and small business owners who did the right thing and played by the rules are suffering from the actions of those who took on too much debt, he said.