Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Our financial leaders

If you were one of the litany of people who thought Emperor of Cash Tim Geithner's bank bailout plan was....a tad on the vague side, well it seems there's a perfectly good reason for it: you see he.....LOOK OVER THERE! A SPIDER!
Just days before Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner was scheduled to lay out his much-anticipated plan to deal with the toxic assets imperiling the financial system, he and his team made a sudden about-face.

According to several sources involved in the deliberations, Geithner had come to the conclusion that the strategies he and his team had spent weeks working on were too expensive, too complex and too risky for taxpayers.

They needed an alternative and found it in a previously considered initiative to pair private investments and public loans to try to buy the risky assets and take them off the books of banks. There was one problem: They didn't have enough time to work out many details or consult with others before the plan was supposed to be unveiled.
Meanwhile, the sources said, Obama's senior economic advisers were hobbled in crafting the plan by a shortage of personnel. To date, the president has not nominated any assistant secretaries or undersecretaries at the Treasury, and the handful of mid-level staffers who have started work were still finding their offices and getting their building passes and BlackBerrys.
But there still was not enough time to sculpt the detailed plan that the financial markets expected. In the end, Geithner and his colleagues decided that it would be better to take flak for being vague than publicly offer half-formed details that might later have to be revised. And ambiguity, the officials concluded, would make the plan an easier sell on Capitol Hill, as congressional leaders could be brought into the discussions of details rather than be presented a detailed plan as fait accompli.
Isn't it nice to see the man in charge of the financial sector bailout described in terms you would usually reserve for a forgetful 9 year old who left his class presentation until the night before, decided to quit because something good was on television, and hoped a furious writing session before first period combined with a litany of vagaries would somehow get him an A?

Furthermore, don't you like the fact that he spent weeks working on proposals that he deemed too risky, expensive, and complex? He had to know that from the start, didn't he? You don't just start work on bailing out an entire industry and then find out at the end it's all really complex and expensive. Then there's the the whole "Everyone's too stupid to understand/we'll tell you about it the day before/watch these rubes get their minds blown by my use of 'fiscal', 'sector', 'depreciation', and 'Keynesian'" tone of the new "We'll Wing It" plan. Not to mention you really gotta love throwing another half a trillion on a plan that got sketched out on a napkin at the bar at a TGI Friday's. This all bodes well for our financial future.

I'm just becoming convinced that everyone working in the financial and banking sectors is at least partially retarded. There aren't a lot of competing theories or evidence to the contrary.

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