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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:31 PM
Original message
Why Geithner? Why now?
I have been trying to figure out why Obama appointed timid Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury for months now? After all prior secretaries were usually individuals who had acquired great wealth in the private sector. They were accomplished men in the business world, not shy, awkward technocrats like Geithner.

Geithner is, let's face it, a bit of a geek, physically awkward and seemingly uncertain. No titan of finance or industry is he.

And now, some clues as to the answer:

The good stuff starts at the bottom of page 2.

Geithner is the Chinese pick for the job. That's my conclusion after reading the article. Who's in charge? China or us?

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notesdev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:34 PM
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1. It's a hostage situation
Paulson, Bernanke, Geithner, along with all the large banks (especially JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs) are financial terrorists - they make Osama bin Laden look like an amateur.

What they are doing is threatening to make the collapse as sudden and bloody as possible if they are not given a massive ransom.

This is a COUP. The military needs to go down to DC and Wall Street and put all the ringleaders in Guantanamo (since we're apparently not going to close it, we may as well put it to good use).
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Our corporate overlords DO NOT APPROVE this ^ message.
But I do :)
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
12. I really hope you aren't serious about the military part
The Posse Comitatus Act was written for a reason.
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notesdev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. The "and domestic" was also written for a reason
and Posse Comitatus is dead in all but signing the certificate. You can thank Bill Clinton for that.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. Bookmarking to read later -- sure it'll be interesting and make my blood pressure soar. nt
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:38 PM
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3. Kicking this for later reading as well...thanks n/t
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:48 PM
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5. Could be - or it could be they wanted someone knowlegable instead of a dog and pony show
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:59 PM
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6. Who's in charge? China of course
Much is made of how it would cost them $1 Trillion or so if they tried to unload their US and dollar-denominated debt.

Consider that the US has spent over $1 Trillion on the WOT and has not been able to bring down Osama bin Laden.

But, for only $1 Trillion China can be certain of bringing down the United States. They clearly are in the more powerful position.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:16 PM
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7. It's nice to know the Chinese can be as batshit paranoid as we can:
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 02:19 PM by Nikki Stone1
"To appreciate the complexity of the challenge China poses, it's worth considering one of the country's best-selling books in recent years: a paranoid (and vaguely anti-Semitic) polemic called Currency Wars, written by a dubiously credentialed man named Song Hongbing. Song, who briefly worked a finance job in the United States, alleges that the Western banking establishment hatched the modern financial system in an elaborate plot to dominate the world. Europe fell first, then America. (JFK was assassinated when he tried to resist.) More recently, Japan's lost decade and the Asian financial crisis of the mid-1990s served as warm-up acts for the coming assault on China. Predictably, the Rothschilds occupy the center of the narrative.

Victor Shih, an expert on Chinese political economy at Northwestern University, notes that even educated Chinese have been remarkably susceptible to Song's ravings, to say nothing of the man on the street. The book went through ten printings within a year of its publication in 2007, according to the website, and today, there are well over half a million copies in print. Tsinghua University, one of the country's premier academic institutions, went so far as to hold a conference on the book's conclusions."

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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:26 PM
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8. Not sure why you think he is China's pick. He seems to understand China and Asia better than
any one else whom Obama could have appointed. Since Asia is where economies are growing the fastest, particularly China, in depth knowledge of the area is a good thing.

"Few Treasury secretaries have come into office better prepared to deal with this delicate political economy (of China) than Geithner. His ties to China date back to the summer of 1981, when he studied Chinese at Peking University after his sophomore year of college. This was only a few years after the two countries had established relations, and the Chinese were invariably stunned to see pale-faced Americans strolling through their capital."

"Geithner had been learning Chinese as an undergrad at Dartmouth and ultimately spent two summers in Beijing. After college, he earned a master's in East Asian studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, then filled out his China credentials with a stint as a researcher for Henry Kissinger. "He did a number of papers on the relationship between the economic, social, and political structure in making foreign policy in China, Japan, and other Asian countries," Kissinger says. ... "These years of apprenticeship help explain why Geithner was eager to keep the China economic portfolio at Treasury. ...They also gave him a certain intuition about negotiating with the Chinese. "

"Among his guiding principles, Geithner recently divulged to me, is not presuming to understand China's self-interest better than the Chinese themselves. "It's a ridiculous conceit," he says. "You have to assume they know where their interests lie, and you have to figure out where the constraints are --to try to make it compelling to them.""

I'm not sure I would prefer a Treasury Secretary who had no experience in China or the rest of Asia and spoke no Chinese. The Chinese are probably used to dealing with Westerners who have little experience with their country and culture not someone who has experience with their language, culture and negotiation style. It sounds to me like Geithner's China experience ability to negotiate with them may have been one reason Obama thought he would be a good choice for Secretary.

I assume that China has ministers who have experience and educations in the US. I don't see why Geithner having experience in China is a bad thing.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:10 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Geithner would make a great under-secretary of state or commerce,
but he does not have the presence or personality to be a Secretary of the Treasury. I cannot see him facing off with the likes of Paulson or Bernanke or much of anyone. He is a scholar, not a Secretary of the Treasury. I have not seen him display much vision.
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DFLforever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:31 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. He reputedly is the only person who will tell Larry Summers
he is full of shit. Maybe that's why he got the job. }(

I understand Geithner is even more fluent in Japanese than Chinese. I remember reading, maybe at TNR, that his first job with the US government was with the American embassy in Japan.

I don't think he is a scholar. He's worked for the Us government for 20+yrs and worked his way up through Treasury becoming an undersecretary under Clinton. He apparently has considerable experience as an international crisis manager.

I agree with you that he isn't a 'player' like most secretaries have been. And that is likely a disadvantage.

I don't think he's supplying the vision. I think that comes from others.

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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
9. kick...
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:41 AM
Response to Original message
13. I think this is more to the point:
"After college, he earned a master's in East Asian studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, then filled out his China credentials with a stint as a researcher for Henry Kissinger."

Kissinger, architect of Nixon's opening to China & Rockefeller factotum.

Dad Peter Geithner = old Asia hand:

Peter F. Geithner is an advisor to the Asia Center at Harvard University and a consultant to the Asia Pacific Philanthropy Consortium, Rockefeller Foundation, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, and other organizations. He serves on the boards of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, the China Center for Economic Research (Peking University), the Center for the Advanced Study of India (University of Pennsylvania), Clemente (Holdings) Asia, Inc., and the Institute of Current World Affairs.

Mr. Geithner was with The Ford Foundation for 28 years, where he held program management positions mainly concerned with Asia. He was Director of Asia Programs from 1990 to 1996. Prior to assuming that position, he served for two and a half years as the Foundations first representative in Beijing, China. His earlier assignments with the Foundation included Program Officer in Charge, Developing Country Programs (New York), Representative for Southeast Asia (Bangkok), Deputy Head, Asia Pacific (New York), and Deputy Representative for India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka (New Delhi).

Foundations in China: see the players

Direct Grantmaking by US Foundations in China has evolved over the past 100 or so years 3 broad periods

(1) Pre-1950 Rockefeller Foundation (public health and higher education physics bldg at Nankai University), China Medical Board (Peking Union Medical College), Harvard Yanching Insitute (six Christian universities during 1930s and 40s )

(2) 1950-1978 support to major centers of Chinese studies in US, UK, Australia, HK, India, Taiwan + library collections, pre- and post-doc research. In mid 1970s efforts toward normalization of relations (National Committee on US-China Relations, CSCPR (initial exchanges)

(3) 1979-2009 As China began to reform and opening to the non-communist world, US foundations began tentative explorations to see what they might do. Ford Foundation (FF) and The Asia Foundation were among the first to put their toe in the water or, like Deng Xiaoping, to search for the stones to cross the stream. /

First licensed foreign insurer in China = AIG, 1992, client of Kissinger Associates: Kissinger on AIG board. "But when it came to China lobbying, no one held a candle to Henry Kissinger. The man who crafted the rapprochement with the Chinese communists started an opaque consultancy firm, Kissinger associates, in 1982; China was very much Mr. Kissinger's turf."

Treasury Secretary Designate Geithner's Kissinger Associates Connection--Part 2

Between 1986 and 1989, U.S. Treasury Secretary-Designate Timothy Geithner was employed at Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft and Lawrence Eagleburger's Kissinger Associates influence-peddling firm, which also employed George W. Bush's former special envoy to Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, during the early 1990s. Commerce Secretary-Designate Bill Richardson also is a former employee of Kissinger Associates.

Among the political influence-peddling firms in the United States, "Mr. Kissinger and his associates are by all accounts the most successful of this new breed of former senior Government officials," according to the April 20, 1986 New York Times Magazine article, titled "Kissinger Means Business: Corporate America is eagerly seeking Henry Kissinger's insight and celebrity."

So why do the Chinese want Geithner? Because he speaks Chinese? Hardly. Why did he study Chinese in the first place? Because he's *connected,* & that's why the Chinese want him.

Who's in charge? Good question. Why did Kissinger go to the East?

Think beyond the "We're in hock to China" hype.

Half of Chinese exports = foreign corporations producing in China & exporting *back* to their home countries. Then the Chinese take a cut of the profit, & a cut of their workers' tax money, & "invest" it in US debt, which US taxpayers repay, with interest. Channeled though financial intermediaries who take a cut in some cases.

Who needs who? Who's in charge? I'd say #1 = banksters, globocorps, & their "multicultural" political cronies.

Dean Baker explains Chinese financing of US debt:

"Finally, China is not buying these bonds as an investment. It absolutely will lose money on these bonds.The dollar will fall and interest rates will rise. This makes U.S. Treasury bonds a really bad investment for the Chinese compared to say, buying short-term euro assets or almost anything else in the world. They are obviously buying U.S. Treasury bonds for the purpose of sustaining their export market in the United States. This is not an accidental outcome of their actions."

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