Timothy Geithner’s stint as US Treasury secretary, which began in 2009, left an uncertain legacy. To critics on the right, Geithner was a lackey of President Barack Obama, a proponent of wasteful government spending and an enabler of economy-choking regulations. To detractors on the left, Geithner’s a centrist who mollycoddled bankers and an apologist who missed a golden opportunity to break up the money-grubbing cartel on Wall Street. Geithner views himself as a pragmatist and a centrist, a technocrat who sees the world in shades of gray. His memoir details his central role in Washington’s response to the financial crisis. The retelling fills in some blanks in the story. Geithner’s version is unlikely to sway the skeptics, but it offers a nuanced view of the pressures he faced during the depths of the crash. Geithner published this memoir after he left the cabinet but while Obama was still president. Geithner portrays himself as a commonsense manager more interested in saving the world than in changing it. His policies staved off financial Armageddon, yet determining whether his approach was most efficacious is impossible. Geithner crafted his response to the crash only after arduous debate. He acknowledged to Obama and others his uncertainty about whether his response would work. Geithner cites his ideological differences with Obama financial adviser Lawrence Summers. Summers had been a mentor to Geithner, and they respected each other. But Geithner frequently espoused more moderate positions than Summers did’. While always politically neutral, getAbstract finds that Geithner’s account offers historical insight across the political and economic spectrum.
About the Author
Timothy Geithner headed the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and later served as the 75th US Treasury secretary. He wrote this book as a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
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