Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Is Tim Geithner Too Close to Goldman Sachs?

That issue was raised in an interesting video today by Chris Whalen, who runs Institutional Risk Analytics and is not a fan of the New York Fed chief.

I think he has a good point, but I view Tim Geithner's appointment pretty much the same as Mary Schapiro's-- as a done deal. The difference between the two is that, while he is definitely closer to Wall Street than he should be, he does not have quite as abysmal a track record as Shapiro. Some will argue with me on that point, I know.

A few weeks ago Tom Friedman suggested that Geithner immediately replace Hank Paulson, and I agreed with him. But that was because pretty much anyone, or no one, would do an improvement over Paulson. But that doesn't make Whalen's concern any less valid, or Geithner's answers to the Senate's questions today any less mealy-mouthed.

Not that it matters, as it is fairly obvious that Geithner is going to be confirmed.

By the way, I see that Chris Cox has resigned from the SEC, as expected. Now he can move into a Washington lobbyist or some other job more suited to his talents and proclivities. He can leave government "service," but he can't escape history (as Abe Lincoln put it), and I believe that history will show him to be one of the worst SEC chairmen in history.

© 2009 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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