Most sane people understand that it was ugly, but had to be done. We get it. Really, we do. The problem all along has been the implementation of the process. Not the process itself. Geithner repeats the same line whenever he’s questioned about the bailout yet as unpopular as the bailout may have been (and remains) the issue has consistently been that Wall Street hardly missed a beat with enriching itself. That is what infuriates America. Wall Street is important but in no way did they or do they deserve to rise above this recession ahead of the Americans who were victims of Wall Street’s games. Deal with that and you’ll get a lot more support. Keep telling us about how it had to be done and you only annoy everyone outside of your closest family.
Everyone expected former Goldman CEO Hank Paulson to help out his old friends on Wall Street but most assumed there would be some changes from the administration that campaigned on “change.” Staying the course is not change.
But in a nationally broadcast interview, Geithner also argued that President Barack Obama had no choice when facing a financial crisis but to support then-President George W. Bush’s “unpopular” bailout plan.
Geithner said the other option was to “stand back” and do nothing, “and that would have been calamitous for the American economy.”
Geithner was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York at the peak of the crisis. The New York Fed managed bailouts including the $182 billion rescue of insurance giant American International Group Inc.
In September 2008, the government embarked on a program of assisting the threatened financial institutions, eventually creating the sweeping, $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) used to rescue teetering banks.