A mere three weeks ago we noted that Tim Geithner is preparing to transition to a Blackrock cubicle...
Geithner Reiterates Refusal to Talk About Monetary Policy. Or which floor of Blackrock his cubicle will be on
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) September 25, 2012
Today, it seems, the FT has finally got the memo as they note that Mr. Fink (Geithner's new boss?) trumped Mr. Rubin (Geithner's old boss?) as the most frequent 'can-I-phone-a-friend' call - speaking 49 times over 18 months (once every 11 days). We wonder if this is simply a 'rotation' discussion/interview process as Fink transitions to Geithner's little seat at Treasury and Geithner slides into his capacity as official guard of the Blackrock Stapler in the 3rd sub-basement.
Mr Fink, the group’s chief executive, featured more frequently in Mr Geithner’s diary during an 18-month period than any other corporate executive, according to a Financial Times review. The two men spoke on at least 49 separate occasions, an average of about once every 11 days.
Calls and meetings with Mr Fink throughout 2011 and up to the end of June this year outnumber the combined calls and meetings with the heads of the six largest US banks by assets. Mr Geithner’s second most frequent interlocutor in the corporate world was his old boss, Robert Rubin, the former Treasury secretary now at Centerview Partners, who spoke to him 33 times in the same period.
Mr Geithner’s calls with Mr Fink far outnumber those with executives at other investment groups such as Pimco, Fidelity, and AllianceBernstein.
The calls tallied by the Financial Times include those placed by Mr Fink as well as by Mr Geithner. They usually ranged from five to 10 minutes.
The close relationship between Mr Fink and Mr Geithner, which dates back to Mr Geithner’s days heading the Federal Reserve Bank of New York between 2003 and 2009 reflects how governments have turned to the asset manager as a trusted adviser after the financial crisis.
BlackRock helped the Fed manage the securities it acquired through its bailout of AIG and advised on its rescue of Citigroup. It has counselled European governments struggling with faltering lenders and has provided services to US government agencies, ranging from monitoring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the mortgage giants, to valuing toxic securities acquired by the National Credit Union Administration.
Mr Fink’s client base also explains why he and Mr Geithner chat so often. With $3.6tn in assets, Mr Fink oversees the world’s largest money manager.
Some prominent former government officials have joined BlackRock,
On June 14, the day after BlackRock announced that it had hired Philipp Hildebrand, the former chairman of the Swiss central bank, who had resigned from that post five months earlier after currency trades by his wife, Mr Geithner called and they chatted for 10 minutes.
Mr Geithner plans to retire from the Treasury after the election.