Geithner The Incompetent:

As part of the bank bailout, the Treasury Department was given $46 billion to spend on keeping homeowners in their houses; to date, the agency has spent about $1.85 billion. [. . .] “The money was there and they didn’t spend it,” said Mr. Davis, an associate real estate professor at the University of Wisconsin. “I don’t mean to sound outraged, but I am pretty outraged.”

If only the Czar President knew.

Speaking for me only

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    baffling (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by desmoinesdem on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 03:30:25 PM EST
    because unless there's something I'm not getting, having the Treasury Department spend that money to help keep people in their homes wouldn't be bad for the big lenders, right?

    Geithner was a terrible appointment, and it says a lot about Obama's judgment that he wasn't fired long before now.

    why do yo keep saying that? (5.00 / 6) (#11)
    by NYShooter on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 05:59:17 PM EST
    Geithner was exactly the kind of guy Obama wanted.

    Incompetent? No.

    Cruel & inhuman? Absolutely.


    "Cruel & inhuman?" (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jacob Freeze on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 12:30:51 AM EST
    From BTD's link...

    As part of the bank bailout, the Treasury Department was given $46 billion to spend on keeping homeowners in their houses; to date, the agency has spent about $1.85 billion. Morris A. Davis, a former Federal Reserve
    economist, estimates that as many as a million
    homeowners slipped into foreclosure because of
    insufficient help for the unemployed.

    Obama/Geithner sat on all that money while 1,000,000 Americans lost their homes!

    So what's the appropriate affect for someone reading this story?

    Is it more like some bourgeois-fuddyduddy professor from Wisconsin who is apparently terrified of expressing too much indignation?

    "I don't mean to sound outraged..."

    Or is it more like this guy...

    (And I just clipped and posted that video on Youtube specifically to link it from right here!)


    It says more about Obama's judgment (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Anne on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 08:01:55 PM EST
    that this was the guy he wanted in the first place...and if you've seen any indication, heard any rumors, read any anonymous sources that suggest there's any tension between Obama and Geithner, tension that suggests Obama isn't happy with Geithner, please share - we'd all like in on that news.  

    Not hearing or seeing that?  Huh.  In a town when there's an anonymous source willing to disclose when someone so much as farts, I think that should tell you all you need to know.

    Truth is, Geithner is doing exactly what Obama wants him to do - that's why Obama chose him to begin with.

    Geithner is in charge of circling the wagons around Wall Street; neither he nor Obama give a flying fig about Main Street.


    He'd care about main street (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Edger on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 09:16:40 PM EST
    if it wasn't so obvious that half of main street will vote for him anyway.

    Ever wonder why he wears that big grin so often?


    Who knows what the lenders want? (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 09:09:05 AM EST
    Half of them were betting on the loans being bad. Making the loans good does not make them any money.

    Geithner ? (none / 0) (#21)
    by norris morris on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 10:12:18 PM EST
    Geithner appears clueless and incompetent. Obama has been oblivious as to Geithner's spacey personna and the message it sends to us commoners about the pain of foreclosure and the president's concerns about our pain.

    Geithner's eternal deer in the headlights image seems to fit the current foreclosure problems that are swallowing up our country's present and future.

    Incompetence isn't the only problem here. What's needed is a correct diagnosis and prognosis which are clearly missing as Obama twaddles along with Goolsbee about how well we are REALLY doing. The BS is awful.


    huh? Incompetent? NOT at all - this is by (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by seabos84 on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 04:19:58 PM EST
    design - this ain't a bug, it is a feature.

    I've spent 30 years in 3 careers from Sea to shining Sea, being a serf to the smarter better gooder titled, degreed, credentialed and paid -

    Geithner and Co. know what they're doing, and they do NOT give a f'k about us peeons, other than needing doormats, catch farts, butt kissers, back scratchers, cannon fodder and serfs.

    I'd love to see him stuck on the side of the road in a blizzard on 1 of the local mountain passes outside of Seattle - from me, he'd get what he's done for me and mine.


    Agreed (none / 0) (#3)
    by Warren Terrer on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 04:26:49 PM EST
    The reason Geithner hasn't spent the money is because he doesn't want to. It's Obama's job to force him to do his job or fire him.

    Perhaps (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 04:52:25 PM EST
    it should be "Obama the incompetent" instead of Geither.

    But you must have read at the link (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by Towanda on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 06:06:27 PM EST

    President Obama has been scrambling to curb the number of foreclosures ever since he arrived at the White House.

    Ha!  Scramble?  Mr. Laid-Back Cerebral Guy?

    The only time that I can recall seeing Obama scramble is when he had to come up with something to extricate him from the Rev. Wright uproar.  So we got Teh Greatest Speech of All Time.

    That is, we got talk.

    We get a lot of big talk from him, don't we?


    Yeah (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 06:13:14 PM EST
    his speeches do nothing for me but then I'm more of an actions speak louder than words person.

    Obama is not going to do anything w/r/t to the foreclosure crisis. He really just missed the boat on that one.


    Obama (none / 0) (#18)
    by cal1942 on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 07:56:02 PM EST
    has yet to catch a boat.

    And that's why (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Nemi on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 07:45:49 AM EST
    I so love this from Robert Fisk:
    Is Obama just talking too much? I fear so. He was cashing in, bathing in his own words as he did in his miserable performance when he got the Nobel Peace Prize for Speechmaking.

    Scramble? (none / 0) (#17)
    by cal1942 on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 07:54:35 PM EST
    A slo mo scramble.

    On a certain level, it is a bit surprising (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 05:00:28 PM EST
    that Wall Street - always hungry for someone else's fresh capital to gamble with - are not annoyed that that the $44 billion hasn't been injected into the economy.

    If they could find some way to inject it (5.00 / 6) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 05:18:14 PM EST
    directly to them that didn't involve write downs and compromises.  After the bubble ruptured though all that default is sitting off book.  If there is a remedy it will put it back on the books and the write downs will be exposed, then everyone is going to want one and demand one.  They want nothing to do with this.  They'd rather sit on their hands, sit there with the "toxic assets" in a special off books bookkeeping sector, and they'd rather be keeping the rest of us paying as long as we have it in us to pay them anything.  I feel like Alice in Wonderland.

    Well, I guess I think that there (none / 0) (#9)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 05:27:32 PM EST
    are imaginative ways to make that money work for them even if it means that people keep paying their mortgages.  The reality is that as houses go into foreclosure, they tend to lose a significant portion of their value - a loss which really ends up hitting the financial institution more than the individual.  You can't get blood from a stone and all of that.  If unemployment were low and wages steady or growing, the stones would have more blood to give the banks.  But what they are doing by cheering on this foreclosure crisis and not demanding that influx of cash is contributing to devaluing their own assets which makes no good sense, unless you are shorting that market - which may be the case.  Another reason why banking institutions and investment institutions should not be allowed to reside under one house.

    They have insured themselves (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 05:45:13 PM EST
    though against foreclosure.  Forget about the fact that it bankrupted AIG once already.  And the derivatives still aren't regulated and there's brand new crap out there.  They got the government to pay in full once, no reason to think they can't get that again.  I think they would rather argue to have that insurance pay them and just let stuff foreclose.  It costs them less than having to negotiate.  That costs money in legal fees and gives them headaches and who knows what they would end up being on the hook for.  The mighty of Wall Street are forever looking for ways to protect themselves from the short, and those protections kick in in nanoseconds or they complain and then get everything they want.  After they've been paid they don't care what happens to that property.  They've never cared.

    Real Estate Debt (none / 0) (#44)
    by MKS on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 12:04:17 AM EST
    is what is holding back the recovery imo.

    All this debt and threat of foreclosure.....

    Fix this issue and the economy would be so much better.


    Hamster nuts for the peons (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by Dadler on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 05:00:54 PM EST
    And they can't even be bothered to spend it.

    Not simply disgraceful, but morally it is absolutely indefensible.  

    Pitchfork City -- ballin' in a zip code near you soon!

    Trypanosomiasis (5.00 / 7) (#7)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 05:06:55 PM EST
    "I don't mean to sound outraged, but I am pretty outraged."

    Why in God's name wouldn't Mr. Davis mean to sound outraged?

    If we can't express outrage at the way that our government is treating our fellow citizens, what is the point of saying anything at all?

    Most of the people who even dare to criticize Obama have already announced that they will be voting for him again.

    No outrage.
    No action.
    Just some sort of strange whimpering.

    Patrick Henry must wonder why he bothered.

    It actually reads as quite effective -- (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by brodie on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 06:28:26 PM EST
    in a "I hesitate to say what you're doing is stupid, but what you're doing is stupid" kinda way where the first part announces an attempt at reasonableness and polite understatement -- usually a good strategy in persuasive argument -- only to give way in the second part to direct frankness given the importance of the matter and the degree of fault, as the second part repeats and re-emphasizes a theme from the first.

    I kinda like this Perf Davis, based just on this one quote.

    And this type of normally calm and reasonable person is usually just the person who's going to be more effective at reaching someone like the cool, detached Obama than the more emotional types who tend to fly off the handle.

    In fact, I'm putting Mr Davis down as someone for the WH Intervention Group (Good Cop Subgroup) I think might soon be needed if O doesn't wake up soon and start treating the economic situation like the immediate crisis it is.  


    I could not (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 07:31:05 AM EST
    disagree with you more...

    "Reasonableness and polite understatement" are tactics that have had absolutely zero effect on Obama. Haven't you noticed that?

    If we accept the notion (put forth by Obama and his apologists) that the Republicans are the reason that we have a lousy health-insurance bill and an extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy, they only got their way by being intransigent and unreasonable.
    It is a tactic that has been successful. We should use it.

    Frankly, I think the reason that everything that I care about - the public option, the end to the wars, an end to rendition and indefinite detention without charge or trial, an end to the unpatriotic Patriot Act, money and support for Americans in need because of natural disasters and preventable disasters such as those confronting homeowners - has been abandoned by Obama is because everyone on our side wants to be so damned polite.
    "Polite" as in "intimidated" as in a sense of total self-worthlessness. We're supposed to feel grateful - even jubilant -  that we have Obama in the white house - even if he is Bush in drag.

    Obama needs to be confronted by "emotional" types.
    How long do we have to continue to endure reading about the deaths of children caused American bombs - followed by a "sincere apology". Yeah. That helps. That doesn't bring the child back to life or restore a sense of a meaningful existence to bereaved parents.

    How can we not be emotional when confronted with the reality of Obama's America?

    At this point, I would savor vociferous action and political uprising by a downtrodden and humiliated populace. I would welcome a statement a la Lyndon Johnson from Obama saying that he would not seek a second term.

    If I saw Obama, I would wind up yelling at him.
    I would tell him that I wouldn't vote for him in a million years - even if he were running against Genghis Kahn or Sarah Palin.

    But there I go... acting like an American citizen....


    Hey, lentinel -- hold on a moment (3.00 / 1) (#29)
    by brodie on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 09:10:00 AM EST
    with the emotional rant and go back to my above post.  I've got the perfesser down with the good cop subgroup -- implying I think we might need a Bad Cop/Eartha Kitt* subgroup in case the more polite approach doesn't work.

    Maybe you'd be a candidate for the second group in my WH Intervention Group scenario -- along with a few other highly agitated regulars here, and maybe BTD, if he can talk the talk as aggressively in person, face to face with the Leader of the Free World, as well as he posts about these things on this blog.  Some people have the courage to do it, others get cold feet at the last minute.

    I also think that group could benefit from one or two laid off blue collar workers, maybe from the Teamster family, for a little added muscle.

    Then I've got Chér in that group to reprise that scene in Moonstruck if it comes to that.

    That's my Bad Cop group -- a few very disgruntled lefty bloggers, a couple of Teamsters, and Chér.  Other suggestions are welcome, of course.

    * old timers here don't need to look this one up.  Of course, she only spoke out to Lady Bird, not Lyndon.  I think the antiwar writer/poet Rbt Lowell, at a 1965 WH conference on the arts, may have been the one who decided to "confront" LBJ with some less than polite recitation from his writings;  Johnson apparently got the gist of the message (about his VN policy), didn't care to hear the author's views, and proceeded to cancel further WH Arts Festivals for the near future ...


    Sizzle. (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 11:10:01 AM EST
    I think we have an abundance of "good" cops, and not a single "bad" one.

    And it seemed to me that you were calling for yet another "good" one.

    I want people who feel angry to feel free to express their anger directly. Pure anger is a powerful and direct energy. It produces change.

    I am so tired of reading all these sad liberals who write articles about the senselessness of the wars - about the way that the Obama administration is continuing to trample on our civil rights and our civil liberties - and then genuflect and say that they will vote for the guy anyway. How is that supposed to influence Obama? It's a green light for him to continue on his merry and clueless way.


    Well, if it seems like an abundance (none / 0) (#38)
    by brodie on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 03:09:26 PM EST
    of Good Cops, it may be that our side is full of them, tends to produce them in fact.  Remember, we're supposed to be the side that is armed with facts and listens to reason.

    (As for Perf Davis, just judging by that one comment, it's hard to tell whether he'd be all that good a Good Cop, or a little more blunt and direct.)

    But apparently you didn't accept the fact that I also thoughtfully included a Bad Cop group.  Not even the mention of a couple of surly out of work Teamsters with Chér and BTD thrown in for extra muscle appears to have made an impression.

    Lemme guess, you want just an angry pitchfork and torches mob to storm the WH -- perhaps with you in the lead with the baseball bat?

    Be my guest, if you can manage to get past security.

    And good luck, if you should ever get in somehow, staying on message and in tune with the anger which you promise to deliver directly to Obama, presumably in the Oval Office.   I'd like to see that one  


    Facts, reason and emotion. (none / 0) (#39)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 04:54:58 PM EST
    And good luck, if you should ever get in somehow, staying on message and in tune with the anger which you promise to deliver directly to Obama, presumably in the Oval Office.   I'd like to see that one.  

    I would too.

    I believe as you do that we do have facts and reason on our side.

    What I was responding to was what I felt was your endorsement of Davis' muted apology for almost expressing the emotion of outrage that he clearly felt. With that emotion, the content of what he said has meaning. Without it, it is but an observation followed by a sigh and a shrug.

    You appeared to me to be justify Davis' emotional retreat by saying that he was playing the role of the good cop - and that this manner of expression - the presentation of facts coupled with the suppression of raw emotion - would be or could be effective against Obama.

    I don't think so. I have seen absolutely no evidence to support that contention.

    I did accept the fact that you suggested various people to be members of a hypothetical Bad Cop group. The problem is that it is a fantasy. Whereas the Good Cops are an abundant reality - and we shouldn't be encouraging more to join that lame bunch.

    I wouldn't mind being in the company of Cher and the others, storming the white house with pitchforks - if that what it would take to get Obama's attention.

    To repeat what I wrote before - how does one cope with reading of the senseless deaths of children bombed by drones? So far we have suppressed any emotion and turned the page. We have done so as individuals, as Americans and as members of the Democratic party.

    What would happen if we allowed ourselves to experience the emotion that this unthinkable horror actually evokes within us if we but allowed it to happen?


    I didn't (none / 0) (#41)
    by brodie on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 05:47:17 PM EST
    quite read Davis as either apologizing or offering an emotional retreat.

    Because in the end of that sentence, you'll note that he stated he was outraged.  So, the emotion was actually given voice -- just not quite as cleanly and robustly as you would prefer.


    We disagree, for the reasons I stated.

    Sometimes the velvet glove covering the iron fist approach works better, was basically my attitude.  Would it work with O?  Who knows -- that's why I advocate for a WH Intervention Group (WHIG) composed of the best Good and Bad Cops we can assemble.  Sorry if I couldn't resist having some fun with that 2d group -- but as I noted accurately, our side isn't exactly teeming with screamer or bare-knuckles types, the ones you seem to prefer as the only approach that will work.

    I don't claim to be quite as personally knowledgable about what does and doesn't work to persuade O, so I humbly offer a more varied strategy, and hope in the instance of the first group of Concerned Nice Guys (Perf Davis sounds more like he's a bridge between the two groups actually) that a little bit of honey with the medicine will encourage the patient to take the stuff.  And if he doesn't seem to get the message, we bring in the Teamsters and Chér, and you and your baseball bat.

    Amusing exchange, but that's it from this desk.  


    From (none / 0) (#42)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 07:13:42 PM EST
    what I read, the Teamsters ain't interested.

    Wouldn't that be an interesting video? (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 02:02:24 PM EST
    BTD talking face to face with the Leader of the Free World?  First topic:  Geithner.  

    Wouldn't that be an interesting video? (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 02:02:25 PM EST
    BTD talking face to face with the Leader of the Free World?  First topic:  Geithner.  

    I`m going to keep repeating (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 07:39:24 AM EST
    my mantra until someone takes notice: "as bad as people think things are, they're a lot, lot worse."

    Take this HAMP business, for instance. I believe the reason Geithner & Obama haven't spent the money, nor done much of anything else, and I happen to agree with them on this is......it wouldn't do any good. They have their experts, and their super sophisticated models, and the conclusion, I believe, is that spending the money would simply kick the can down the road a little longer.

    The folks in trouble, obviously, weren't rich to begin with. They were living "on the margin," subsistence living at best, so the slightest set-back would have pushed them over the edge. The few modifications (feeble, I know) have proven unsuccessful. If they got in trouble due to losing a job, or cutting back hours, or having to work part-time......Those things haven't improved, on the contrary, they`re worse now than before.

    What would work? A Real jobs program, a real stimulus package, real modifications (Clawbacks," and a real, progressive Tax Policy.

    We all know that's wishful thinking, so there's no sense to keep regurgitating these things over and over again.

    Get used to it, This is the new Normal.

    Another one of Obama's trusted (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 07:58:44 AM EST
    economist speaks up to promote "Debt Ceiling Shouldn't Be Raised Without Long-Term Plan."

    Democratic economist Alice Rivlin said Sunday the debt ceiling increase should be paired with a long-term plan for dealing with the deficit, a strategy currently being pushed by congressional Republicans.

    "There's no mystery about what we ought to do, we just need to get on with it," Rivlin, who served as budget director under President Bill Clinton, said on CNN's "State of the Union." "At the same time we raise the debt ceiling, we need to put in place this long term plan."
    Rivlin said a long-term plan should "absolutely" include cuts to Medicare, a program that provides health coverage to those 65 and older. But she did not comment on a contentious plan by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan to turn Medicare into a voucher-like system for future seniors.

    Holy crap (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 09:16:16 AM EST
    posted last night at 7:50 p.m.  As the report of what Alice Rivlin said yesterday makes its way deeper into the world today, watch the stock market tank even more.  Is Alice Rivlin part of the super secret plan that President Obama is also part of executing that is trying to control the markets and lead a recovery at the same time too?  Or did she get one hell of nasty phone call with someone breathing fire on the other end?

    Obama chose Rivlin to represent (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 10:20:18 AM EST
    the Democratic viewpoint on the Deficit Reduction Commission. She was his chose to offset Simpson as co-chair of the commission. Based on that I'm more inclined to think that she is pushing Obama's agenda rather than getting "one hell of nasty phone call with someone breathing fire on the other end."

    So are they going to say things like this (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 10:27:43 AM EST
    to give the stock market a bit of a push off the cliff, and then CNN will go to split screen as we watch the Dems vote to destroy Medicare so that the debt ceiling can be raised and the markets will stop crashing?  Is that the plan?

    Obama agreed that he would have (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 10:45:37 AM EST
    to agree to cuts at the very beginning of the discussion of raising the debt ceiling.

    IMO he is bound and determined to "fix" those pesky entitlement programs. It is just a matter of when and how much.


    Sure looks like it (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 10:47:10 AM EST
    And linking cuts to raising the debt ceiling should get that done when the emergency hits.

    The people with control over this money cannot see (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by jawbone on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 09:23:55 PM EST
    any good from using it for the little people, especially the effin' unemployed little people.

    So, since it's not in their world view to do things such as FDR and his cabinet and kitchen cabinet might have considered and actually implemented, they cannot see that a jobs program might have been coordinated with that money sitting in HAMP to let people stay in their homes.

    But this is not how Obama thinks. Why, one might ask? Because he's a conservative!

    He's a Neolib, Corporatist Free-Marketeer and Wall Street's guy. If his Wall Street backers wanted him to have a workable HAMP program, or something even better, in place and functioning, it would have been done.

    Article title (none / 0) (#15)
    by diogenes on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 07:24:40 PM EST
    "For the Jobless, Little U.S. Help on Foreclosure"
    That's the title of the article.  It doesn't really say how one restructures the payments of a mortgage when the person can afford little and has no immediate prospects of a job.  Mortgage restructuring really only makes sense when someone got gypped into signing for what is now a ten percent rate; restructuring into five percent for thirty years can lower payments a good deal.  

    It makes sense to restructure any loan (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 09:03:59 AM EST
    whose value was deliberately inflated by lending institutions that were making money on the packaging of high value-high risk loans into 'financial products'.  

    What is missing in these discussions is that the market was turned on its head. Lenders had every incentive to make high dollar bad loans, and little incentive to make good ones. In the process, the value of all loans was inflated by banks ignoring their responsibilities in favor of making even more money at the casino.

    People buying homes had no way of knowing this was going on. Everyone was gypped.


    not everyone (none / 0) (#40)
    by diogenes on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 05:41:49 PM EST
    If I got an honest loan and lose my job, I get foreclosed upon through no fault of any "evil" financier.  

    If you bought your home (none / 0) (#45)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 08:39:25 AM EST
    in the period where they were behind the scenes, unknowable to you, trading on credit default swaps and raising the prices of the homes accordingly, you paid way too much for your house. You thought a normal market was in effect when you agreed to the purchase price. That was not the case.

    Is it possible that (none / 0) (#16)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 07:36:42 PM EST
    there is no one with authority over this money who knows how to solve this type of practical problem?  And/or is it possible that if the money were to be used to locate and help homeowners in default on their mortgages, the MERS problem might suddenly become not entirely incapable of reform, and the powers that be might be less inclined to give the banks a pass?