While the Republican party and Tim Geithner bicker, analyst Dennis Gartman chimed in this morning with his two cents:
The Gartman Letter: The newsmedia here in the US seemed to us last week to take up the side of US Treasury Sec’y Geithner as he was rather strongly taken to task by the Republicans for the problems current extant in the US economy. Sec’y Geithner fought back, strongly suggesting that the problems the economy is now suffering through were the problems the Obama Administration inherited from “almost a decade and certainly eight years of basic neglect of public goods, in health care, in education, in public infrastructure and how we use energy.” It is reasonable to assume that the Sec’y meant the eight years of the Bush Administration, but we are open to debate on this issue, although the debate, we assume shall be short lived.
We should remember that Sec’y Geithner served as the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for five and one half of those eight years. The President of the Fed NY is one of the most powerful monetary positions in the US, for he has a permanent, rather than a rotational seat on the FOMC, and is also the Vice Chairman of that Committee. This is a position of rare oversight power, and yet it appears that Mr. Geithner saw nothing wrong during his tenure that demanded his overt action, for he did little if anything to dissuade Wall Street from its direction which he now decries.
Further, lest we forget, Mr. Geithner had some rather difficult times with his own income taxes on high incomes earned during his tenures past at the Fed and in Treasury. Ah, but that means little when he is under assault before the klieg lights of a Congressional inquiry, apparently. Mr. Geithner has taken the old saying that “the best defence is a good offence” to a new and untenable high in our view; but then again, who are we to argue with Treasury Secretaries?