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Web Letter

Mr. Greider's essay contains unnecessarily personal attacks. Clearly, he scorns Geithner for being some kind of goody two-shoes (which, it must be said, we don't know if he is at all, not knowing him personally). He scorns people who are "dutiful." (What in the world is wrong with being dutiful? It used to be that "doing your duty" was a good thing.)

So Geithner and Summers are smart but soulless technocrats, who climbed the pole of success by pleasing the right people and saying the right things. According to Greider, this should disqualify them from serving in the Obama administration. Who would you like to see in their places, Mr. Greider?

Cyril Blair

Chicago, IL

Feb 18 2009 - 6:01pm

Web Letter

Geithner, Summers, Rubin, Wall Street bankers, etc. are not the best and the brightest. Consider the following: Question: Can any fool be a banker?

Answer: Yes. How much do you need to know to have mortgage companies shovel toxic junk through your front door, then slice and dice the junk with a few computer clicks, then pay the rating companies to label the junk "AAA," leverage each piece of AAA securities 30X and finally, sell it all over the world as gold. Garbage In, Gold Out (GIGO). Any junior high school grad can do this.

As for motivation, the more they GIGO'ed, the more money (bonus) they made.

Howard Kaplan

Belmont, MA

Feb 12 2009 - 2:25pm

Web Letter

I'm in absolute awe at the in-depth Greider analyses of what Tim said. We apparently didn't listen to the same Geithner. I clearly heard him say that we were in deep doo-doo, because our banking system developed a real casino-like investment strategy and we were going to be in trouble for some time to come. We have been worshipping at the alter of Reagan and Clinton, designed by that great architect of economics Alan Greenspan, for the past twenty years, and we are going to blame poor Tim! He is 1,000 percent better than the crew we had. Would you have preferred him to say we have stopped making things, China has all our cash, and we are twenty years away from recovering any kind of self-sustaining economy? Talk about scaring the bejesus out of us. We have to go hat in hand to China to help bail us out of this sewage, and the Republicans are spouting platitudes while people line up at empty soup kitchens for food.

JAMES PINETTE

Caribou, ME

Feb 12 2009 - 11:37am

Web Letter

Grieder has probably hit the nail on the head in describing Geithner. I thought Obama's choice of Summers and Geithner was so poor that I've been questioning his judgment ever since. And both of these appointments have lived up to my expectations: Wall Street cronies with no feel for or real understanding of the real economy. When I read Geithner's "plan" earlier today, I was astounded by how pathetic it is. I'm particularly disturbed by how Geithner wants to further promote securitization of debt. Securitization leaves the issuer of debt with no skin in the game, hence little need for proper lender risk assessment.

David Hawla

Barrington, RI

Feb 12 2009 - 12:28am

Web Letter

The cream does not necessarily rise to the top in any organization. The only appointments I really liked were for attorney general and veterans affairs. As far as I'm concerned, the investors can save the investor banks. I would save traditional commercial savings banks and raise their interest rates to encourage savings. These are the banks for Main Street, and they should be supported. Someone in this magazine mentioned that these two types of banks were separated during the Roosevelt administration. They need to be separated again. Since the two political parties are attempting to destroy the middle-class lifestyle of the American worker with "free trade." No one should be surprised if class warfare erupts. Actually, it has already started, with the economic elites seeking to impose wage slavery on the world.

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Feb 11 2009 - 6:15pm