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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tickhound's picture

Re-Ode to Tiny Timmah


sung to... Elton John, Tiny Dancer


Blue skies, Bennay

Debt pimp, Timmay

Schem-sters for the man.


Prices high,

Debt to the sky,

Print is the ponzi plan.


Larry Summers,

massage the numbers,

marking market to a sham.


Now it hits me,

the fraud economy,

toilet paper in my hand...


Barry freaks, out in the streets,

Another ticket sent by God,

No turning back, we just laugh

The price for Ipad's not that bad.


Awoken man, he makes a stand

In an internet forum

Speaking on, right and wrong

The story's old news for some


But oh how it feels so true

Lying here, in IOU's

Cursing you, but you can't hear me

When I say slowly, but LOUDLY


F' me harder, tiny Tim-mah

Countless hedge-funds hit the highway

Wash the world in worthless pap-ah

Another busy day, today...



Yes_Questions's picture



While Mona Lisas and mad hatters,
sons of bankers, sons of lawyers,
turn around and say, "good morning" to the night.
For unless they see the sky, but they can't and that is why,
they know not if it's dark out side or light.

Some Bloke's picture

He's got a point, if you drop $1,000 of your hard-earned on the roulette wheel, you feel a whole lot better if someone else has dropped $2,000.

Where does America get these idiots?

LowProfile's picture


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.


The USA is doing better relative to other countries...  Oh, you mean like FUCKING ICELAND?!?!?!

And Growth?!

The only thing growing is the debt, the federal gov't, unemployment, the price of commodities (esp. precious metals) and the world's blood pressure.

These douche-puppets are sounding more and more like Baghdad Bob every day.

prains's picture

something about a horse and a glue factory, how does that go again /s

wee-weed up's picture

He's worried about his huge Facebook shares buy tomorrow!

valkir's picture

Timmy and Berdmunkee-fuck you,.Tomorrow,Falsebook will "save" the "market".For 2-3 hours,suckers.

Cole Younger's picture

Well thet may  be a tall order. Asian markets are getting slamed right now..

jomama's picture

dafuq are those guys up to in the background?

dbomb12's picture

They are setting up the "NEW and IMPROVED" printing presses

Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

Not alot to say other than "fuck off you lying little weasely cocksucker".

CPL's picture

Yes, symptoms include Cognitive Dissonance (not our local fantastic wordsmith), smug assuredness and speaking in convoluted parallel abstracts that Janus himself would complain of the bald face lies with any declarable function to them.

JimBowie1958's picture

"weaselthelioma" ?

Oh, I am SO going to steal that word....

Thank you!


Convolved Man's picture

I can't watch it.

Doctors say I need to control my blood pressure and listening to him would make my head explode.

Did he get the opportunity to blame our problems of perception on China's currency manipulation?

HD's picture

In other news:

  Tim Geithner and Robert Reich are proud to announce their joint venture - "Bubbles" the new under five feet tall Keynesian dinner and dancing bubble blowing club. Hot fiat action will inflate away your troubles and stimulate growth in all the wrong places.

Tuesdays are bearded, balding man's night - but hurry it transitory!

Convolved Man's picture

Do they have validated parking...


and charging outlets for my General Public Motors volt mobile?

HD's picture

Unfortunately no one ever, EVER used them, so the charging stations were replaced with EBT access terminals which see a brisk business.

knukles's picture

Ben plops down on the couch, bathrobe, slippered feet up upon the coffee table, humongoloid tumbler of 25y/o MacDivotmashie in his paw, faithful dog Erexion by his side and turns on the telly to PBS which is showing interview with Timmah.

Ben:  Jesus H Fucking Christ! (spilling some scotch)  I thought Obie told his ass not to be seen in public again.  (soft whimpering sounds)

Ding Dong  (doorbell)

Erexion bounding to the door, barking, slobbering all over, excitedly pissing all over the rug.

Ben:   Oh fuck me, it can't be (dashing to the door, threadbare slippers getting soaked in dog piss) he's on television.  Down Erexion, down!

Voice through door:  Ben, it's me.  I came over to see the interview.

Ben:  What the fuck (yanking door open, almost ripping it off the hinges, stomping his warm quickly turning dog piss cold cold feet) are you doing here?  You're on television!  Oh for Christ's sake Timmy.

Tim:  Lookie lookie lookie, it's me on the telly. (dashing into the living room traipsing dog piss all over the priceless Persian rug taken from John Thain's office along with the gold commode which was recently sent to the bowels of Ft Knox.) Plops down on chair eyes glued to himself on the telly while Erexion starts humping his leg.

Ben quietly closes door, locking Timmah inside the house and begins slowly walking down street humming Amazing Grace, hails cab and asks to be taken to White House with folded stained resignation in pocket of favorite worn bathrobe.



WallStreetRanter's picture

A "perception" problem? A simple "perception" problem. No no, little Timmy boy....It's an ACTUAL REAL PROBLEM. You know, conflict of interest type stuff. Kinda like you coming from a job at the NY Fed looking out for the interests of the banks and then somehow being put in as Treasury Secretary, a position that is SUPPOSED to look out for the interests of the taxpayer. But then again maybe since the prior Treasury Secretary was an ACTUAL former bank CEO people foolishly thought this was somehow an upgrade? The stupidity this guy spews......

The Wall Street Ranter 

Yes_Questions's picture



political politicians...


He must be the product of Bohemian Grove ritual inbreeding...


Fucking dumber than Joe the Plumber and W. combined.

Global Hunter's picture

I hope you don't mean our Joe the Plumber who posts here on ZH because I kinda like that guy

Yes_Questions's picture



No, not ours.


thanks..and I agree.

spooz's picture

Right, Timmy, we know its all about perception. Why does it always feel like you're doing a tap dance when you speak? It has nothing to do with the fact that Dimon is in a much better position to lobby for holes in the Volker Rule in his board position at the fed. Is perception like confidence?  You know, that magical thing that makes consumers buy, buy, buy? I know I start feelin frisky when I hear confidence is up, makes me want to go shopping!  Everything will be just fine as long as you can keep everybody from looking behind the curtain. Got to keep the loonies on the path.

theTribster's picture

Fuck You Geithner! You lying piece of shit! Go polish Bernanke's head so its nice and slipperly when he has to stick it up his own ass. Your an incompetent fool who will go down and the Treasurer that bankrupt America. You'll be considered one of the most corrupt and irresponsible treasurers of all time. Unfortunately for you, the memory most people will have is of you polishing Ben's head before he is forced to stick it up his own ass. What you've done should be considered treasonous and your sentance should carry all of the associated penalties.

The gubmint could sell tickets to your demise just like a boxing event on Pay-Per-View, if we expanded the program to include all branches of gubmint we might be able to grow out way out of the debt. Frankly, I would consider it noble and may have a different perspective on you if you could endorse such an idea, a spectacle for the good of the nation like good ole Rome. You might even become a hero, think about it dickhead this may be your last chance at redemption!

Even though you only look about 15, you've actually been fleecing the country for over 2 decades! Hard to believe that such obvious incompetnce (ala Corzine) would allow for such a career, just goes to show you what kind of people and thinking make up banking and governement. You've helped morph the banking industry into a casino that isn't even really interested in traditional lending anymore!

Their hoping that Facebook changes market direction and generates momentum, we'll see. Marc Faber says the markets are ready for a big rebound in equities and hard hit on the dollar. He also says, the markets are dramatically oversold - ya think? Funny guy, I don't think I'd follow hs investing ideas though.

C'mon QE and LTRO, we know your there and ready to spring to life once again and save us. The printers are definitely getting ready for another massive round of printing, this round will dwarf the previous rounds. No buy on the dip anymore, scaring Bernanke and Geithner because it can only mean printing, and printing and then printing some more. Krugman will be happy, so will Gold and Silver stackers (like me).

What_Me_Worry's picture

"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." 


Questan1913's picture

Sloppy editing here Tyler...  you got it right the first time.  The weasel strikes again, and again, does he not?  Just another slick talking liar carrying water for his masters as Bernanke does.  They are errand boys for the swindle class, nothing more.

q99x2's picture

He is not that old. Many years ahead for him to run, in hiding, from the law. Maybe he'll get a sex change into a man.

Alexandros's picture

The end of the world is near... The ten plagues of Pharaoh “have been brought upon” the USA.

From the Wall Street Crash of 1929 to the Global Financial Crisis of 2007


It is the absolute tragedy for the USA. The former illegal immigrants had become the masters of their land; the ultimate masters. The people who wanted to collaborate with the Jews to become “Pharaohs” had the same bad luck. The greedy “locust” of the Asiatic desert swapped the USA and left absolutely nothing standing. The formerly rich people of the New World have been drained of their money to such a degree that they have passed the point of poverty and are headed towards starvation. The Americans now experience desperation and trust in God. Poor and hungry people gather around the fire to warm and cast their eyes up to heaven as their last hope. These are the former planet leaders...

Authored by Panagiotis Traianou

catacl1sm's picture

Yousa bein makin nose sensa! Nose sensa I  be sayin!

Triple A's picture

liar liar pants on fire

Money 4 Nothing's picture

It's not illegal to be stupid, look at George Bush for example.

wonderatitall's picture

this is the typical fascist blue state response. he did it too. if it was wrong for one type then you monkeys are doubly wrong being that you are so sooper smarty pants and all. lets just get this war started eh. obamas black storm troopers are attacking in all big "cities". hey is poof boy in a city?...good luck and dont come to us...lock and load baby

MayerRothschild's picture

I wonder if Timmah knows why the debt ceiling was originally created?  To keep us OUT of war specifially World War I

The debt ceiling was first enacted in 1917. Why? The date tells all: we were about to enter the Great War. To fund that effort, the Wilson government needed to issue Liberty Bonds. This was controversial, and the debt ceiling was cover, passed to reassure the rubes that Congress would be “responsible” even while the country went to war.


Montezuma's picture

WTF  are you talking about? It was to fund the war not keep us out. There was no controversy you tinhat, it was CONGRESS that allowed them, they could have easily said no, but you know, war is good for business. Ceiling was just there to name a number of bonds GOV could issue, nothing more. Yes they could have said, "Here you go Woodrow, just write the number how much you want", but they didnt, do you honestly think that in war time anyone is going to be economically hawkish? Thats why there were 4 bond issues. The whole "debt ceiling" came accidentelly. There were no Robert Norqcunt yelling about tax and spent. They could have get as much as they wanted, but had to uphold the theater that it is the Congress that still has the biggest dick.

Now if you want to get wondering is why after the war law was not changed? And WHY treasury didnt pay up the last bond in gold.

Questan1913's picture

Let,s clear this up:

He doesn't understand the imbecillic misperception of Americans thinking there is anything wrong with Jamie Dimon sitting on that board.

aldante's picture

That is really Sasha boran Cohen in a Timmy suit...

ebworthen's picture

Hey Timmy, our "not as bad a disaster as the other disasters" only cost us $9 TRILLION.

Now, why is that debt ceiling being breached again?

Back to first grade Turbo Boy!

Global Hunter's picture

Oh great a Timmay video, I find him funny in the same way I find Ralph Wiggum funny.

edit: just watched holy shit he's hit the full retard button, he's cracking up haha.

r00t61's picture

And this little clip of Timmay reminds me yet again of the old adage:

"Politics is show business...for ugly people."

GernB's picture

I am stunned that he sees debt to GDP of 100%, and every child being born $50000 in debt as a political issue. Someone should send him a link to this vidao:

Loukanika the riot dog's picture
Father Ted | Father Jack : "How did that gobshite get on the television?"

dunphyben's picture

journalist vernacular says that any interview with geithner is called a stress test.

Inthemix96's picture

On the off chance you might read this timmy, just wait till we reach critical mass, when enough people have woke and understand what you and your mates have done.

Your a dead man walking son, make the most of the time you have left, you and the likes of you are in for one hell of a wake up call. And all so richly deserved, you will, and I mean will find out that money is not everything.

Dorky's picture

From video 1: "Can you believe it?"

What he means: "Can you believe we are still fighting over this debt limit? By right there should be no debt limit at all. Debt should be allowed to go higher indefinitely and possibly infinitely."


From video 2: "... that perception is a problem."

What he means: "Your perception is a problem, despite it being true. Yeah, of course Jamie Demon can authorize what to do and what not to do, or else why should he be sitting in the board in the very first place? And so we are going to change your perception, to be based on lies and deceit."


From video 3: "Absolutely."

What he means: "Jamie Demon is a savior and he is here to STAY!!!"

slackrabbit's picture

He reminds me of Captin Pike from Star Trek....he would have made more sence just beeping anf flashing his red light. Pike was injured in battle, whats timmah excuse? I would say with this man running the treasury and Ben at the Fed, we shouldn't be pointing fingers as greece...


All Out Of Bubblegum's picture

I'm going long on tar and feathers.

Cosimo de Medici's picture

There isn't enough cleanser in the world to make that boy clean.