Something Feral

Digging up the flower-beds.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Timothy Geithner, Rocket Surgeon


The Chinese may be buying our assets*, but even they have their limits:
"Chinese assets are very safe," Geithner said in response to a question after a speech at Peking University, where he studied Chinese as a student in the 1980s.

His answer drew loud laughter from his student audience, reflecting scepticism in China about the wisdom of a developing country accumulating a vast stockpile of foreign reserves instead of spending the money to raise living standards at home.
"Mr. Krugman, our esteemed thaumaturgist, has promised that the ancestral animal spirits will smile upon our money harvests once again," Geithner continued, "But only so long as we maintain our confidence that they will do so. To doubt the animal spirits would be folly!"

I suspect Geithner is fearing for his job (I am hesitant to call it a career, as it is unskilled labor), as he may yet need to exchange his suit for motley:
In his speech, Geithner renewed pledges that the Obama administration would cut its huge fiscal deficits and promised "very disciplined" future spending, possibly including reintroduction of pay-as-you-go budget rules instead of nonstop borrowing.

"We believe in a strong dollar ... and we're going to make sure that we repair and reform the financial system so that we sustain confidence," he said.
"Initial phases of balancing the spending increases include the sales of various government properties, including former Navy shipyards in Arizona and New Mexico, and necessity-based taxation of excess assets in the private sector," Geithner added, "The Obama administration is determined to fix our economy, good and hard."

* In the least-valuable sense of the term.

2 comments:

MikeT said...

Never before has an incoming President squandered such an excellent opportunity to ensure a near 100% approval rating. If he'd just issued a flurry of executive orders shutting down the bailouts, getting us out of Iraq, controlling immigration, etc., he'd have had the political capital to give us Canadian health care by the end of the year. Not that I want that, I'm just saying that Obama would have been riding so high he could have blown half of his political capital without worrying about it if he'd played his hand correctly against Bush.

Something Feral said...

Much to Rahm's displeasure, I imagine.

Had Obama selected his appointments more carefully vis-à-vis dirty-laundry airing and the IRS, he might have pulled it off with enough goading from his advisors. Personally, I think Vox is correct in his appraisal of Obama's intelligence, and the whine from that "turbo-charger" is really just the fan-belt rubbing on something loose (perhaps his scruples).

So far, this administration has been isomorphic to previous administrations, plus almost ten-trillion dollars in fiat-money, minus a major terrorist-related domestic event and/or public embarrassment of the BATFE and FBI culminating in the murder of innocents.

Give it time, I'm sure there's something on the boil in their kitchen.