The Geithner Plan: Tell Us Why

Jeffrey Sachs writes:

Cynics believe that the Geithner-Summers Plan is exactly what it seems: a naked grab of taxpayer money for Wall Street interests. Geithner and Summers argue that it's the least bad approach to a messy situation, in which we need to restore banking functions but don't have any perfect ways to do that. If they are serious about their justification, let them come forward to confront their critics and to explain to the American people why the other proposals are not being pursued.

Let them explain the hidden and not-so-hidden risks to the American taxpayer of the plan that they have put forward. . . . So far Geithner and Summers tell us that their plan is the only option, but without a word of further explanation as to why.

(Emphasis supplied.) Precisely.

Speaking for me only

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    Speaking for me, too. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Shainzona on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 03:28:46 PM EST
    I have come to the conclusion that I cannot - and will not - believe anything the government is telling me any more.  I am so fed up with the baloney that is being thrown about - it defies common sense and logic.

    And until I hear some plain answers, they can take all of their plans and stick 'em where the sun doesn't shine.

    unfortunately (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Jlvngstn on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 03:43:37 PM EST
    they are sticking them where the sun don't shine, and they ain't reaching backwards to insert into their own.  

    i have been uncomfortable since last october and am just now getting used to the discomfort, but I know it's there.


    i get the feeling they're taking (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by cpinva on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 03:45:09 PM EST
    the "republican budget" approach:

    provide no numbers, just tell everyone that the currently proposed budget is bad, bad, bad!

    the more i watch, read and listen, the more i conclude that these guys really have no clue what to do about the situation that the bush administration helped create.

    nothing wrong with admitting this, and asking for help, but they can't bring themselves to do that either.

    We don't get no stinkin' explanations... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 03:49:38 PM EST
    look no further than the federal reserve, who doesn't even have to answer to congress...and Sachs thinks Geithner and the rest of The Sherrif of Nautingham's band of looters owe us an explanation?...he must still think we live under a government by, of, and for the people...poor sap.

    Gee, would I rather have a giant (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:23:03 PM EST
    throbbing wart on my foot so big that I could barely walk anymore, but with a surgery and physical therapy I'll be up and walking around fairly soon and capable of returning to full health and strength...........or do I want the rheumatoid arthritic Geithner plan which requires no surgery but prevents me from ever returning to full health before it's time for the grave, and oh by the way I'll just hobble around from here on out. Sorry everyone. I'm taking the giant wart!

    Yes indeed! (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:38:18 PM EST
    It is time to explain the HIDDEN as well as the NOT SO HIDDEN because it is so bad there isn't any way you could hide it but God knows you wish you could.

    Its so simple it's sad (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Slado on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:41:29 PM EST
    Obama is in an impossible position politically but an easy one if he faces the truth which is the economy needs to retract .  We need flat or negative growth so that we can pay back the massive debt we (republicans and democrats) created over the last 30 years.

    To admit this is political suicide.  All gov't programs must be slashed.  Taxes must be raised and we need to hunker down so we can pay off our creditors and start over.

    Who's going to support that?

    IMHO Obama has taken the easy way out.   Big tax hikes and massive spending.   Any fool could have gotten that through with a 58vote senate and a majority in the house.

    The right decision would have made both parties mad.  Instead we get a continuation of the policies that created this mess, debt creation.

    Sad indeed.

    That is the (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by JThomas on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:48:31 PM EST
    Hoover plan..raise taxes and cut spending. It did not work.

    No plan is going to work (none / 0) (#13)
    by Slado on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:44:33 PM EST
    That's the point.

    Hoovers plan didn't work because like now they had massive debt created by a bubble and no policy was going to overcome an economic retraction..

    Some would say (opinions are like you know what) that FDR's plan didn't work either.

    That's my point.  Neither plan really worked and even if you think FDR's did it took longer then the constitution allows Obama in office to work and included a World War sprinkled in for good measure.

    Obam was delt a bad hand and instead of folding he's trying to bluff his way out of it with policies we already know won't work but are too scared to admit.


    I have this strange feeling that there.... (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Shainzona on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:48:45 PM EST
    ....might be more support for the truth and nothing but the truth than at any prior time in our country.

    And the great "mouth" should be able to come up with some palatable way to say it.

    He's failed - on all counts.


    I agree (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by nycstray on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:27:04 PM EST
    especially if he's "asking" us to make "shared sacrifices"

    "Shared sacrifice" = sh!t sandwich (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Spamlet on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 08:09:13 PM EST
    Guess who gets the bread.

    It's sad to me to see an academic (2.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Farmboy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:03:40 PM EST
    such as Sachs reduced to performing for his supper at the H. Post.

    His post is un-cited (if he did cite the Geither plan his argument falls down - it doesn't support his assertions); it's full of weasel terms (unsupported "some say" and anonymous "thems"; and appears designed to generate more heat than light on this issue.

    I would like like to see them answer (none / 0) (#6)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:25:29 PM EST
    There critics, but I don't see how they do that in a politically astute manner (that being said how they are handling the criticism now is not politically astute either so...).

    Unlike others on this board I give the administration the benefit of the doubt if for no other reason then all this banking stuff is WAY over my head and I "trust" the currant administration.  That being said, I also read and trust Krugman and other critics so the fact that the methods the administration are using are so different then those his critics are saying should be used, makes me nervous.

    With you on all that, Sam (none / 0) (#15)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 11:41:47 PM EST
    But there's an additional problem here, seems to me, that's keeping them from defending themselves and their plans, which is that I can see very easily where laying out the whole concept and the details of the steps they've taken and their next steps and contingencies could so totally freak out the banks and the bondholders and the counterparties and the investors that the whole thing falls apart.

    Folks here laugh and jeer at the very idea, but I think it's a very real concern.

    I absolutely do not buy the idea held by so many here that Obama, Geithner, Summers, Bernanke et all are either corrupt or blindly shoveling cash to do no more than prop up a corrupt and broken system.  They appear to be quite calm and determined in the face of all the outrage and harsh criticism from their erstwhile allies, which tells me they're pretty confident their basic approach is the better one under the circumstances.


    They may be confident (none / 0) (#16)
    by CST on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 11:34:46 AM EST
    but that doesn't mean they are right.  I mean, I think a lot of the finance execs were pretty confident that the market would continue working for them - and they are "smart" people too.  Some times "smart" people can be really stupid, with confidence.