Jon Weil On How Tim Geithner's Credibility Hit The Triple Hooks (And Is Staring The Single Ds In The Face)

Tyler Durden's picture

Jonathan Weil hits another one out of the ballpark.

Geithner Downgrades His Credibility to Junk

Fox Business reporter Peter Barnes
began his televised interview with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner two days ago with this question: “Is there a risk that
the United States could lose its AAA credit rating? Yes or no?”

Geithner’s response: “No risk of that.”

“No risk?” Barnes asked.

“No risk,” Geithner said.

It’s enough to make you wonder: How could Geithner know
this to be true? The short answer is he couldn’t.

All you have to do is read the research report Standard &
published on April 18 about its sovereign-credit rating
for the U.S., and you will see it estimated the risk of a
downgrade quite succinctly. “We believe there is at least a
one-in-three likelihood that we could lower our long-term rating
on the U.S. within two years,” said S&P, which reduced its
outlook on the government’s debt to “negative” from

There you have it: Geithner says the chance of a downgrade
is zero. S&P says the odds it will cut its rating might be
greater than one out of three. So who are you going to believe?
Geithner? Or the people at S&P who actually will be deciding
what S&P will do about S&P’s own rating of U.S. sovereign debt?

It would be one thing to express the view that a downgrade
would be unwarranted, or that the chance of it happening is
remote. Either of these positions would be defensible. Geithner
went beyond that and staked out an absolutist stance that reeks
of raw arrogance: There is no risk a rating cut will occur. He
left no room for a trace of a possibility, ever.

Battling Barney

The mystery is why Geithner would say such a thing. What’s
he going to do if S&P or some other rating company winds up
disagreeing with him? Send Barney Frank to beat them up? The
problem for leaders who make indefensible claims like this one
is that, after a while, nobody knows whether to believe anything
they say. Just remember all those government officials in
Greece, Ireland and Portugal who kept saying their countries
didn’t need bailouts, long after it became clear they did.

This was the same answer Geithner gave during an ABC News
interview in February 2010, when asked if the U.S. might lose
its AAA rating. “Absolutely not,” he said. “That will never
happen to this country.” So, an asteroid could destroy the
entire Eastern seaboard 100 years from now. And, in the world
according to Geithner, we’re supposed to believe America’s top
rating would be safe.

Perhaps Geithner would be well-positioned to make such
assessments if he were the only person on the planet with the
authority to grade sovereign debt -- and if there were zero risk
that he would ever die. Not only is Geithner mortal, he doesn’t
even work for a nationally recognized statistical rating

Great Error

In one of the great errors of financial history, the U.S.
long ago bestowed that vaunted designation on the likes of S&P
and Moody’s Investors Service. The raters showed they could be
corrupted when they put their AAA marks on countless subprime
mortgage bonds that quickly turned sour. Unlike the companies
that bought those labels, though, the U.S. government didn’t
solicit S&P’s ranking of its debt. Trying to predict with
certainty what the raters may do next is a fool’s game.

Continue reading here.

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Tail Dogging The Wag's picture

"Investors need to diversify, they need to own some real estate, they need to own some farmland, they need to own some equities, some cash, and some precious metals..."   Marc Faber —Investment analyst

Got real estate and farmland outside your home country yet?

holdbuysell's picture

And the subprime problem was contained.

unky's picture

Isnt S&P supposed to belong to the banker-cartel? I really didnt understand why they downgraded the U.S. to a AAA with negative outlook? How could it possibly benefit the banker cartel?

Jack Sheet's picture

They got an email from Gross Bill and Mohammed El-Erection at Pimpco

redpill's picture

Shot across the bow of the Executive Branch to make sure they remember who's boss and not to get any clever ideas about any populist legislation that could negatively impact the Plan.

They are basically saying, "Look you're already in so deep we could hose you with a downgrade at any time if you don't do what we say."

While intuitively one would think the change in outlook would make QE3 less likely, I think in reality it is the opposite. This non-downgrade warning shot may in fact be a "We'll be doing QE3, or else."

traderjoe's picture

IMHO, austerity (reducing spending and/or raising taxes) is the final noose that bankers will use to collect their collateral. Bankers want their [fraudulent] debt to be paid, and the only way at this point would be to try to balance the budget.   

First, the national debt is fraudulent. Sovereigns do not need to borrow their currency from private corporations at interest. The Fed was created to support this crime against the people. 

Second, bankers have long played this game. Start with inflation to encourage borrowing. Then collapse the system through deflation to collect the collateral. 

I'm no fan of the profligate spending, but the entire national debt discussion is a gift to the bankers. We should repudiate. 

p.s. I liked the continue reading here part. A nice truncation. 

p.p.s Turbo Timmay had zero credibility from the beginning. Choosing a Treasury secretary that cheated on his taxes - wow, just wow.

oogs66's picture

Only in 3rd world countries and dictatorships would you have the man responsible for your money cheat on his own taxes :(

topcallingtroll's picture

and greece.  I wish I could reference the study but it was estimated that 97 percent of the legislative branch cheated on their taxes.

riley martini's picture

 Maybe but the (Fascist of Omaha) Buffet has been touring the planet telling everyone not to invest in US Dollar denomated assets . Buffet has direct line to the White House he knows who is exempt from prosecution.

Strategery's picture

Remember where Geitner came from. He is a Fed banker. He lies.

Eternal Student's picture

Awww, man. Don't rag on Timmy-dude. He's a surfer!

In case you missed it (as it wasn't widely covered), he came to California recently for the surfing. Seriously. Here's the link:

I say we have a concerted effort to get him to do Mavericks:


williambanzai7's picture

Shucks, he'll go scare them like he scared Cuomo.

topcallingtroll's picture

Look up aspergers disorder, a very mild form of autism.

Smart guys who act like a doofus and are socially unskilled.

I dont think of them as doofus's. I try to respect those with mental problems. I am just trying to give you an easy way to spot them.

hound dog vigilante's picture

I seem to remember hundreds of chinese students laughing in Geithner's face a while ago...


Chinese students > S&P


topcallingtroll's picture

Ive watched timmah for a long time and it is clear he has symptoms of mild aspergers disorder. As a board certified psychiatrist i feel quite confident of that.

They have no idea how to talk to people without looking socially inept and they have no idea of how other people think and perceive when they are talking to other people.

Your shill needs to have credibility. Not just the ability to follow orders.

topcallingtroll's picture

If timmah wanted to inspire confidence and maintain credibility he would have said " yes there is a real risk of a downgrade unless we get our fiscal house in order. I call upon republicans and democrats to get to work on this."

That might have even caused a dollar rally.

Sad that i know more than timmah, but i wouldnt take the paycut to take his job. However people with Aspergers Disorder do not understand how they come across to other people. Do not put people with zero social perception in such important positions. He probably caused a dollar drop each time he says something that defies reality.

cosmictrainwreck's picture

Ok, doc.... I'll bite. So what I wanna know is: WTF!? Didn't they vet this guy? Or did "they" put him in because he would be all the more pliable?

topcallingtroll's picture

He is a smart obediant pliant technocrat and is the perfect captain for calm seas. You need a real captain to make it safely through a hurricane.

Puppet or just placed up there due to technical skills without much thought? Surely if he were a puppet competent conspirationalists would not have used him.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

i'm no timmah fan, myself, but he is appointed by the prez, serves at the pleazure of the prez, is a member of the damned cabinet, and has about as much leeway as the freaking Press Secretary.

batmanke is still screaming around gotham in his batmobile, "money" everywhere, reflating with retro rockets and QE casino chips.

soon, he will speak.  no one will listen, but he will, again, tell these fukheads to stop spending so much "money" (wink, wink) while funding new debt of the damned goobermints.  some say this debt is better than no new debt at all. 

those people are a danger to themselves and others.  and, they run the fukin joint!

FreedomGuy's picture

I believe the article got it right. There is a profound arrogance at the top in the country and TinyTim the Tax Cheat is part of it. Apart from any conspiracies you wish to posit, I think these guys believe in their own infallibility. I also think they do not accept any limits to their power in the sense of they can always pull another economic rabbit out of the hat and leverage America's position to get anything they need or want.

One thing they will not do and that is turn their back on their ideology come hell, highwater or hyperinflation.

Hedgetard55's picture

I wonder whether Barry, Hillary and Susan will decide to support the Syrian "rebels" that are getting slaughtered now. Why do I think not?

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

the CIA is most certainly involved. The U.S. executive branch does not have sufficient political cover to get involved. Of course that could change, but IMO it would have to be big.

fbrothers's picture

Has Timmy paid his 2005 taxes yet?

topcallingtroll's picture

Just as soon as he figures out how turbo tax and that computer thingy works.

Hedgetard55's picture

Geithner giving Baghdad Bob a run for his title as biggest liar. Bernanke right behind him. "!00% certain". "We will not monetize the debt". "Inflation is under control".

KillTheFed's picture

If you ever want to know the truth in statements coming from the government you need to merely invert the statement.  In this case, there is a 100% chance the US will lose its AAA rating but only after the dollar has served its purpose.  Once the globalists are done using the dollar to get China (and eventually Russia) into the family of the IMF then the dollar will be killed and a new world-wide currency introduced.  Until that happens, Geithner is correct.  Once it happens, however, then the dollar has outlived its usefulness and our credit can be allowed to crash and burn.

gianakt's picture

Geithner and the Bernank will eventually be in jail for the Crimes against humanity they committed. Hopefully we can get them into the same cell.

tomster0126's picture

doubtful, unless we make a citizen's arrest.  down?

mt paul's picture

the scarlet letters....

lizzy36's picture

Geithner, another example of the great rubin/summers experiment in failing up.

Because it never gets old:

Silver Bug's picture

There is no way they can cut the rating, it would be suicide for them. They possibly will use this distraction as a means to create an excuse to slash social security although. Which they know, they must.

digalert's picture

What does TTTGeethner say when the world bank prez says: "the global economy is one shock away from a crisis..." hmmm? In the globalist' scheme of their NWO utopia, doesn't Zoelick rank higher than Turbo Timmy?

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

What does TTTGeethner say when the world bank prez says: "the global economy is one shock away from a crisis..."

<crickets> chirp, chirp

sodbuster's picture

 >Trying to predict with certainty what the raters may do next is a fool’s game. <


Well, we got the right fool for the job!!!

Thanks for not putting the elf's picture on here- he makes me want to barf.


Eric L. Prentis's picture

President Obama's economic team are lying fools. Geithner says, "the US cannot lose its AAA credit rating" and Bernanke says, "he can stop inflation in 15 minutes." Who is the bigger clown, Obama, Geithner or Bernanke? Think it is a close call.

kito's picture

and nowwww, for the "clueless post of the day"......sponsored by the federal reserve      




topcallingtroll's picture

By the way tyler if you ever read about aspergers disorder you will realize that timmah has a mild case of it.

Sadly he has such a tin ear for social cues that he doesnt realize everyone thinks he is a doofus, even to the people who work with him. That is not the kind of guy you want making public pronouncements. A doofus is running the treasury? He is beginning to scare traders and investors.

Just watch. If the obummer is smart he is going to muzzle timmah.

I am Jobe's picture

Did Timmy Boy file his taxes or once again said it was a mistake? Hang the bitchezzzzzzzzzzzzzz

BernankeHasHemorrhoids's picture

That's how these arrogant bastards are. One day Timmy the tax cheat is going to get a visit from a very nasty man.

riley martini's picture

 The most rediculous scam has to be the FED claming to return a profit from Treasury purchases back to the Treasuary that paid the interest that created said profit  minus fees and expenses or POMO . The fascist controlled media reports the so called profit like it's a good thing when in fact it's only a transfer of wealth to the fascist connected and currency devaluation.

americanspirit's picture

Doesn't Timmy remind you of the kid everyone found easy to pick on in the third grade because it was so easy to make him cry? Then he probably went home and pulled his cat's tail or maybe even played with matches a little. Now he's in a position to play the big strong assertive guy who has hundreds of people kissing his ass every day and it's payback time. We have a guy running the US Treasury who is acting out childhood fantasies of getting even. I'm sure that Timmy was, and is, a weak nasty little monster - think what that says about the people who have been hiring him all his life.