Let that sink in for a minute. Geithner regulated major U.S. banks in 2005.
Now he says "We're having a major financial crisis in part because of failures of supervision."
ummmmmmmmmmmmm, anyone else seeing irony here?
In September 2005, Timothy Geithner made one of his most visible moves as a supervisor of the U.S. banking system. He summoned the nation's top financial firms and their regulators to streamline an antiquated system that threatened Wall Street's boom.
Billions of dollars worth of financial instruments known as credit derivatives were being traded daily, as banks and investors worldwide tried to protect against losses on increasingly complex and risky financial bets. But the buying and selling of these exotic instruments was stuck in a pencil-and-paper era. Geithner, then head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, pressed 14 major financial firms to build an electronic network that would cut backlogs and make the market easier to monitor.
Geithner's summit, held at the New York Fed's fortress-like headquarters near Wall Street, was a success. By fall 2006, the new system had all but eliminated the logjam, helping derivatives trade more efficiently. One financial industry newsletter honored Geithner as part of a "Dream Team" for his leadership of the effort.
Yet as Geithner and the New York Fed worked to solve narrow mechanical issues in the derivatives market, they missed clear signs of a catastrophe in the making. When the housing market collapsed, derivatives stoked the fires that ignited inside some of the biggest banking companies. The firms' failure to assess an array of risks they were taking has emerged as a key element in the multitrillion-dollar meltdown of the global financial system.
Although Geithner repeatedly raised concerns about the failure of banks to understand their risks, including those taken through derivatives, he and the Federal Reserve system did not act with enough force to blunt the troubles that ensued.......
You can read the rest for yourself but bottom line here is that regulation is only as good and efficient as the people doing the regulation.... Geithner is not alone in his failure, but he makes an excellent example of that being true.
Yet he is still the Treasury Chirf that Barack Obama chose.
Geithner defended his tenure as New York Fed president in an interview last week. He said he had been "deeply concerned about risk in the system" and worked assiduously behind the scenes to cajole banking institutions to do more to identify weaknesses and protect the financial system. But he also took some responsibility for falling short.
"These efforts to improve risk management did change behavior, but they did not achieve enough traction," Geithner said. "We're having a major financial crisis in part because of failures of supervision."
Yes, and since he was one of those responsible for supervising and he admits to falling short, it amazes me that he is now "the man" Obama goes to for the fix.