Geithner: Dead Man Walking?, by Barry Ritholtz: As the pile of revelations regarding the NY Fed’s bailout of AIG gets deeper and uglier, the sense that Treasury Secretary — and former NY Fed President — is a short timer.
On the interview with Jim Bianco, he mentioned Geithner was a dead man walking — and He has been for sometime. The White House is just waiting for the right time to dump him.
That might be true — and changing the preserve the status quo parts of the Economic team is a good idea.
But what does that say about Summers? In some quarters, he is the most important person on the planet — Politico shows the President’s calendar everyday. He has a daily economic briefing at 10AM everyday when he is in town.
This briefing is run by Summers.
In other words, Summers controls the economic information flow to the President. With this as a job description, Treasury Secretary is a step down . . .
Summers is not the only person in the world with brains, but no matter his talents, appointing Summers as Treasury Secretary would be a political disaster. If Obama believes he is indispensable, better to give him an important role that is out of the public eye. That's essentially the job he has now, but he is still in public more than I think is necessary. I don't think it helps the administration on net.
As for Geithner, I'm not calling for his head, but I wouldn't step forward to defend him either (and I'd be interested to hear from the Internet's Chief Treasury Applogist Officer). In any case, I'd be surprised if the administration actually removes him.