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Geithner Comes Clean: "I Don't Understand It"

Tyler Durden's picture


Tim Geithner outdoes himself this evening with three hypocritical, self-defecating-deceiving, and typically ignominious clips courtesy of his interview with Jeffrey Brown of PBS NewsHour. While we knew TurboTax was beyond him, the Treasury debacle-in-chief admits he doesn't understand how the debt limit has bubbled back up (seeing it as part of a partisan political agenda); admits that perhaps the NY Fed has a 'perception problem' with Jamie Dimon on the board; and his piece-de-resistance his cognitive dissonance erupts as he touts Obama's economic and jobs record: "look how well we are doing relative to any other major country". It seems the election cycle is well and truly upon us and revisionism and populism will once again trump sensibility and forthrightness.

First, the renewed debate over the federal debt limit:



JEFFREY BROWN: Here we are again this week where the debt limit question has bubbled up. Do you see --

TIMOTHY GEITHNER: Can you believe it?

JEFFREY BROWN: Can you believe it?

TIMOTHY GEITHNER: I can't. I can't. I don't understand it. I don't understand it.

JEFFREY BROWN: You can't because, you can't understand because --

TIMOTHY GEITHNER: Because look at how much damage it caused the country last August. I mean, it was terribly damaging for the country. And the idea you can govern effectively at this time in American history -- you know, we're fighting wars. We've got a major financial crisis in Europe. We have all of these challenges for the rest of the country with political politicians threatening to default if we don't adopt a partisan political agenda. It's deeply irresponsible. There's no basis for it.

The secretary also discussed a "perception problem" with CEOs of major banks serving on the board of the New York Federal Reserve:



JEFFREY BROWN: Elizabeth Warren, who helped set up the Consumer Protection Agency for the administration, now running for the Senate in Massachusetts - she said that Jamie Dimon, head of JPMorgan, should not be sitting on the board of the New York Fed, that that just - it isn't right, because they help regulate those banks.]

TIMOTHY GEITHNER: That's not a new observation, not a new concern. It's been made by many people over the last several years.

JEFFREY BROWN: Do you think it's right?

TIMOTHY GEITHNER: I think it is true. And I think it's a problem that that - the structure of the Fed, established 90 years ago, and it's true for Federal Reserve banks across the country, creates that basic perception. And I think that's something worth trying to change. But the American people should understand that although the Fed was set up that way, those banks and the members of the board play no role in supervision. They have no role in the writing of the rules, and they play no role in decisions the Fed makes about how to respond to a financial crisis. Their role is a much more limited role, and the role is to help provide a perspective on what's happening in the economy as a whole. But I agree with you that the, that perception is a problem. And it's worth trying to figure out how to fix that.

JEFFREY BROWN: Do you think Jamie Dimon should be off the board?

TIMOTHY GEITHNER: Well, that's a question he'll have to make and the Fed will have to make. But again, on the basic point, which is it is very important, particularly given the damage caused by the crisis, that our system of oversight and safeguards and the enforcement authorities have not just the resources they need, but they are perceived to be above any political influence and have the independence and the ability to make sure these reforms are tough and effective so we protect the American people, again, from a crisis like this. And we're going to, we're going to do that.

The two also discussed how President Obama's economic record will play out on the campaign trail this year:



JEFFREY BROWN: So you think he's got a record on jobs and the economy that he can proudly run on?

TIMOTHY GEITHNER: Absolutely. And again, if you look at -- look at how we're doing relative to any other major country in the world today. Look at how we managed our crisis relative to what, not just how the U.S. managed in the past or how Japan did, but look at Europe today, and if you look at any measure that we can point to of economic strength, they provide overwhelming support for the choices he made early on. And remember, those were tough - very tough choices, put out the financial fires, get growth started. He did it with almost no help from his opponents, deep political costs, and those things made us -- make us stronger today.

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Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:06 | 2438452 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

"non compos mentis"

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:13 | 2438478 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

"But really Jeff, Jamie Dimon is my real boss.  I can't tell him what to do.  All I can say is America is sooooo fucked."

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:29 | 2438504 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

what a moron.  hope he is fond of lamp posts.

Failbook IPO already falling apart.  Asian markets on full blown collapse.  Over 2% decline and growing by the second.

Take this Facebook IPO....and shove it:


Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:30 | 2438510 Michael
Michael's picture

Timmay is just such a putz.

Elizabeth Warren Makes Timmy Geithner Squirm Over AIG and Goldman Sachs Bailouts


Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:35 | 2438518 SilverTree
SilverTree's picture

I hate how Tim always interrupts.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 01:04 | 2438577 iDealMeat
iDealMeat's picture

TIMOTHY GEITHNER: I think it is true. And I think it's a problem that that - the structure of the Fed, established 90 years ago, and it's true for Federal Reserve banks across the country, creates that basic perception.


90 years ago?  Awesome Timmah,  just Awesome.. 

Federal Reserve System

carry on..

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 02:09 | 2438693 NewThor
NewThor's picture

Timmy's ego might be the biggest bubble of all.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 07:16 | 2438877 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Apparently Timmy disagrees with you.


Timmy.....get off ZH and go take out the trash!


Fri, 05/18/2012 - 08:03 | 2438990 bernorange
bernorange's picture

 And the idea you can govern effectively at this time in American history --

I didn't think anyone talked like this in real life.  It's what made that line in Monty Python and the Holy Grail so funny.

Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under considerable economic stress at this period in history.

I think Timmah is mocking us.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 09:10 | 2439208 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Sung to the tune used by the PullUp diapers commercial -


Timmah: "I'm a big kid now!"

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 06:04 | 2438830 Frankie Carbone
Frankie Carbone's picture

Well since this is basic math, and this is Turbo Timmy, what'd you expect? 90 years, 99 years? Just a rounding error bro. 

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 10:02 | 2439505 catacl1sm
catacl1sm's picture

I caught that too. It's been 100 yrs. putz doesn't even know his history.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 02:21 | 2438705 Bizaro World
Bizaro World's picture

Silvertree, Timmay interrupts because he is visibly uncomfortable with the direction of the questioning, therefor he blurts out a question to the interviewer to redirect, albeit an idiotic mi-step "can you believe it?", but it works for a second and places the interviewer off guard for a moment and changes the interviewers line of questioning to suit one that Timmay should have a "canned preprepared answer," except idiotic Timmay doesn't know what to say when the interviewer simply repeats Timmay's question back to him "No, can you believe it?"....and then a glimpse of truth....Timmay says, "no I can't", then lunches into his prerecorded partisan bullshit response.

We are truly in trouble....the puppet masters are losing control and the US will be sacrificed (perhaps intended all along) to enact the new global currency.

Prepare well

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 06:21 | 2438834 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

what a tool

turbo tims' CV is Govt crone bending over for 'another' from his Masters

you'd find more backbone in a banana

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:39 | 2438526 macholatte
macholatte's picture


TIMOTHY GEITHNER:   ……But the American people should understand that although the Fed was set up that way, those banks and the members of the board play no role in supervision. They have no role in the writing of the rules, and they play no role in decisions the Fed makes about how to respond to a financial crisis. Their role is a much more limited role, and the role is to help provide a perspective on what's happening in the economy as a whole.

JEFFREY BROWN:   So what are they there for? What dod they do? What’s their function?

TIMOTHY GEITHNER:  To gather inside information and make themselves and thier handlers filthy rich at the expense of the American people.


Fri, 05/18/2012 - 02:03 | 2438689 Bunker Boy
Bunker Boy's picture

Tim-aaaahhhhh. (South Park rendition.)

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 03:05 | 2438745 Chariots of the Feds
Chariots of the Feds's picture

Livin' a lie!

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 03:41 | 2438772 Motorhead
Motorhead's picture

Man, you said it!

But Elizabeth Warren is a piece of work herself, you know, that Cherokee squaw.  And you should see her entry in the Pow Wow Chow cook book for Mexican Oatmeal Soup.  Scrumptous!

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 03:57 | 2438783 piceridu
piceridu's picture

Just another great reminder of what corrupt lying sack of shit this guy is...

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:36 | 2438522 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

Faceplant IPO? It has a certain ring to it.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 03:07 | 2438746 Element
Element's picture

"There is no chance of that." - Timah


It's a great day for it though!

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 01:17 | 2438615 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture


Fri, 05/18/2012 - 01:46 | 2438663 Global Hunter
Global Hunter's picture

that is one of the funniest things I've seen, had me choking and then a coughing fit after that.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 01:49 | 2438665 Dr Bob
Dr Bob's picture

fucking brilliant

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 05:34 | 2438811 Half_A_Billion_...
Half_A_Billion_Hollow_Points's picture

WB7, you are a true hero

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 05:56 | 2438824 BeetleBailey
BeetleBailey's picture

LMAO WB! Brillant catch.

Geithner....douchebag....but I repeat myself.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 06:53 | 2438868 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Both selling fashism. Excellent.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 10:05 | 2439526 catacl1sm
catacl1sm's picture

Oh, God! I'm glad I already swallowed my coffee before scrolling down to that.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 07:07 | 2438884 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

"hope he is fond of lamp posts."

Yes, I believe he is.

He uses statistics the way a drunkard uses a lamppost; for support, rather than illumination.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:36 | 2438517 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

In all fairness, he is saying he does not get the political dead-lock, not that he does not get how it was crossed.

But anyways, it's a farce if humungous proportions... even this man's selection to where he sits, knows the IRS is illegal, never paid taxes... truly the theater of the absurd.


Just like here in India we have had this IMF stooge prime-minister who never got elected in a popular election.

Imagine that. Largest democracy in the world has had an un-elected runt he country. Twice. 

Very angry making. Bustards. Fluckers. 



Fri, 05/18/2012 - 07:40 | 2438933 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

on the topic of stooges, Tim is looking more and more like Larry as time goes on.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:36 | 2438524 barliman
barliman's picture


As someone  once observed, "We have all of these challenges for the rest of the country with political politicians ..."

"You might think that establishes non compos mentis ... but I think it just establishes guilt by incompetence ... and as such, I ask the jury to return a verdict of Guilty and a sentence to be executed at the first tall tree with a sturdy limb apprximately 12' off the ground. Further, given the aggravated nature of the offense, I would appreciate the jury direct that the convicted felon not be allowed a coup de grace but left till God in his infinite mercy decides to collect him for judgement."

"Oh, and if the jury can see its way clear to finish this indelicate task before sundown, I am buying the first round of drinks."


Fri, 05/18/2012 - 12:24 | 2440530 emersonreturn
emersonreturn's picture

Max is timmy's way of having fun.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:07 | 2438454 ba dum tiss
ba dum tiss's picture

I'm sooooo jealous of his Beavis-like head structure. So jealous...

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:07 | 2438456 prains
prains's picture

once upon a time you used to have to build your own gallows before you were hung we need to revisit that idea

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:12 | 2438462 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture



I used to think a high forehead was a sign of high intelligence.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:15 | 2438482 James-Morrison
James-Morrison's picture

I can't remember a Treasury Secretary  without one.

They are all rubber-stamping, status-quo, moondogs.


Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:45 | 2438540 knukles
knukles's picture

Offspring were maggots.... LOL

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:15 | 2438487 prains
prains's picture

or lots of room to write 'fuckwad' while he's passed out on your sofa

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:23 | 2438499 hedgehog9999
hedgehog9999's picture

It is all self service statements which he even has trouble with his body language, everytime he makes a point his face looks like he sitting on the toilet after a big meal.

How come the US is headed into a recession after all the great work they have done with 2 QE's and a pseudo QE and still the 90+% is poorer and the new jobs "created" are underpaid low level subsistance jobs, pensions headed for the toilet, foodstamp country, etc, etc I could go on......

What a bunch of crooked spin makers....

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:28 | 2438505 eaglefalcon
eaglefalcon's picture

Nope, it's a sign of jewishness

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:34 | 2438507 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture

Tell that to The Forehead (Paul Begala). ;-)

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:32 | 2438514 InvalidID
InvalidID's picture

He's smart enough to bullshit his way into a pretty sweet gig isn't he?

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:33 | 2438515 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

Anybody got a good slow-mo for the video? I'm pretty sure he had two quick smirks during the last comment "and the enforcement authorities" [smirk] (the bozos!) and "so we protect the American people, [smirk] (fools, you're dog-meat again just like last time) again, just like last time". The interpretation of the smirks are of course mine. People can't fully suppress those micro expressions and they make wonderful truth detectors. He's lying and he knows he's lying, grab your wallet.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:10 | 2438465 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

Nobody fucked up more than Geithner leading into 2008....NOBODY. He was the head of the FRBNY. Under his watch the greatest financial crisis in the world happened....and for that he got a PROMOTION.

For him to take about the credibility of anybody else (including jamie dimon) is the HEIGHT of hypocrisy.

As for the record of the US....when in doubt go to bell curve grading.Love to know the benchmark he is using. Because apparently it isn't Canada. Remember 2 years ago when Biden said Yanks would be growing jobs at a clip of 250k-500K a month. These guys are such clowns.

Btw, i must have missed the part where growth started. Apparently it must have been around the same time geithner welcomed us to the recovery.....in the summer of 2010.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 01:09 | 2438600 Questan1913
Questan1913's picture



Not to nitpick, but a transfer from the FRBNY to Treasury is not a promotion; it's more of a lateral move.  He carried out the order like all good soldiers do and is doing an exemplary job in his new post; doubletalking.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 14:24 | 2440839 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

i think we've learned enuf aboutTreasury to understand why you are getting a few junks

yes, in a sense, timmah is "just" a cog in a machine, but it is an enormous machine and timmah or any sec'yT is a critical decision-making cog (as is theNYFedHead, as you correctly say) but lizzy, even tho a deludedCanuckHosiere, seems correct in her bold assertion, here, imo

i've been trying to tell people since last august that precisely this was gonna be the campaign:  prez0 is gonna run on a strong dollar and a wonderfully strong ponzied-out paper "economy" of unicorn farts AND timmah is clearly prez0's man;  do not believe tyler;  he doesn't have slewie's intel  L0L!!!  and this shit with jamie is just playful, imo

that said, you aren't "wrong" either, _stan;  but let's consider that the FED reports to theCongo, via the chairsatan ["CE0" and the NYFedHead is "C00", perhaps?] by law;  and theTimmah is theUSExecutive function involved, again, by law, but this time it is theConsitution rather than some bullshit legalVaselineAssLube which has now become hereditary b/c we have "evolved"

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 01:37 | 2438641 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Cancer is a growth. So is the metastasizing process.

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 00:10 | 2438467 Clashfan
Clashfan's picture

While we're tossing around names of people who need to be fired (or worse), how about this rat-faced t......? http://www.infowars.com/panetta-authority-of-un-trumps-congress-in-getti...

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