Sometimes You Just Don't Have Anything to Add
What more do you need to know?
Tim Geithner: Does anyone think that maybe the reason Geithner often "punctuates his remarks with profanity" is to make up for his youth, lack of experience, and (inevitably mentioned) babyface looks? We kind of do, after reading the New Yorker piece. Maybe it's a holdover from childhood or something, like he developed a potty mouth to compete with the kids with bigger muscles. Anyway, despite the fact that Stewart thinks the four-letter words have a way of "injecting some blunt common sense into the debates," we think that, ultimately, his spastic anger undermines him. For instance, when he tells the Wall Street CEOs they've brought in and separated into groups to try to brainstorm a way to save Lehman, "You guys have got to try harder!" they mock him:Throughout the day, when members of the various groups passed in the Fed corridors, they asked one another, 'Are you trying harder?'
Ouch. Geithner's impatient hotheadedness may have also been a contributing factor in Barclay's decision not to take over Lehman Brothers; the failure of that deal seems to have hinged largely on communication problems. Although "the various calls between the British and the Americans remain a point of contention," at one point Geithner yells at the British chairman of the financial authority, "Are you going to approve this, or not?" "It was not a high point for Anglo-American relations," one person familiar with the conversations says. As you may have guessed, Geithner does not win the article.
Bernanke was growing agitated. Hank! Listen to me," he interrupted. "We are done!"
It was the first time Federal officials had heard him raise his voice. The Fed is already doing all it can with the powers we have," Bernanke continued.
One participant recalled, "Ben gave an impassioned, linear, rigorous argument explaining the limits of our authority and the history of financial crises in the U.S. and abroad. That history showed that efforts to resolve such crises are successful only when overwhelming force from all parts of government is brought to bear," the participant said. "It was a tour de force."
Man. Now that is a production.