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Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner gave a speech yesterday that was supposed to outline the governments newest, new plan for ending the downward spiral in the economy that would start to right the county's financial ship.
His credentials at the New York Fed and experience with the financial crisis to date was supposed to give Geithner the unique background that was necessary for the Obama administration to solve the economic and financial crisis. This experience was considered so critical that neither failure to pay taxes or what are now seen as glaring mistakes in allowing Lehman Brothers to fail would be enough to stand in the way of his confirmation.
Watching his speech Tuesday left me wondering what it was that made his participation in the attempt at crisis resolution so important. After countless versions of the TARP, TARF and other letter combinations, my understanding of what he said is that we are going to throw an additional trillions of dollars at the problem, in some undefined way and that it may take a little time before it is implemented and that there is not really any guarantee of success.
My concern is that if after all of the time he has been involved in this crisis, he still does not have a concrete plan for extricating us from it, is it possible the only solution is time and even more pain?
The stock market, a non-political arbiter of the speech had an immediate reaction. A sharp move down with all three major indices closing off more than 4%.