Commentary Magazine


Re: Geithner Bombs

Everyone makes mistakes, we were told. But Tim Geithner’s abysmal roll-out of the bank bailout suggests there might be a larger problem than one awful policy unveiling. Larry Kudlow writes:

Geithner would have been better off not giving a speech until he could put real meat on the bones. What he pulled Tuesday was a classic rookie move that will further erode the public’s trust in his capabilities. Following the controversy over his late payment of taxes, this bank-plan blunder could be another nail in his coffin. Apparently, Tim Geithner is not yet ready for prime time.

Uh-oh. What if Geithner’s the wrong guy for the job? Maybe he’s a technician, not a financial leader. He might lack gravitas after all. Could it be that the indispensable man needs to be dispensed with?

But, of course, it would look horrible to dump him so soon, especially after the president and all those Senators insisted he was literally the only man in the country to do this job. So he’ll have to tough it out — as will the rest of us.

But the next time the Senate insists an ethically-challenged nominee is the only person in the nation for a key role, they better make sure he’s really exemplary. Here’s the thing: maybe his tax problems were a clue. Maybe we should have been concerned that someone that sloppy and evasive about his own finances might lack the skill set  to  steer the economy out of a ditch. Ah well, live and learn.