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Credit Where Due, Geithner | The Nation

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The Notion

Unfiltered takes on politics, ideas and culture from Nation editors and contributors.

Credit Where Due, Geithner

We talked about the economy today, and whether Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner deserves more credit. What he should be getting credit for, it seems to me, is that Lehman Brothers report -- well, not the report, but the cover-up.

To give you the thumbnail sketch, a court-appointed bank examiner spent a year researching the fall of Lehman -- the trigger for the bailout crisis. As it turns out, surprise surprise, the accounting at Lehman was, to put it mildly, shifty... and our guests aren't the only ones asking what did Geithner know and when did he know it?

Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism is noting, “The NY Fed, and thus Timothy Geithner, were at a minimum massively derelict...”

Mike Whitney over at CounterPunch is faking disbelief: “Is there really any doubt that Tim Geithner at the New York Fed, or Bernanke knew that Lehman was trading its junk assets to finance its on-going operations?”

If Geithner and Bernanke didn't know what was going on at Lehman, that's bad. If they knew, that's worse. One way, you've got to wonder why they're still in work. The alternative is that it was all part of some bigger, nastier scam, which transferred huge amounts of wealth from taxpayers back to the very banks that created the crisis.

They shouldn't just be out of work, quite possibly, Geithner or Bernanke (or both) should be in the clink. We learned long ago that this President can cut bait when he thinks it's called for. Candidate, then president Obama has broken with his preacher, his green jobs guru, his social secretary. The last, Desiree Rogers, apparently got the boot for letting gatecrashers into last fall's first State Dinner.

If she can get the boot for letting strangers into a feast, surely Bernanke and Geithner should get at least that for covering up for the banks who ate up our whole economy? Or does Obama only get tough with homies?

The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV (Dish Network Ch. 9415 Free Speech TV) on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter.com.

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