April 27, 2009

Geithner defends his track record

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said his track record shows he was early to detect flaws in the financial system and is an advocate of big rescues.

In a recent interview, Geithner said he was a consistently dark voice about the potential risks ahead, and a principal source of initiatives designed to make the system stronger, The New York Times reported Monday.

Having come from the club-like environment of the New York Federal Reserve, the young treasury secretary is vulnerable to complaints that interventions using enormous sums of money are geared to bail out Wall Street bankers, not main street customers.

Bankers and financiers in other interviews have largely felt bailout strategies designed since Geithner took control of the treasury have been aligned in their interests, the Times said.

Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke said Geithner's New York connections, forged during five years leading the Federal Reserve of New York, were nvaluable, the newspaper said.

Geithner was early to sense something wrong in the multitrillion derivatives markets, but his response was too timid, some analysts said.

He spoke frequently to many, many different players and kept his finger on the pulse of the situation, Bernanke said.