Timothy Geithner has, during his entire time as governor of the New York Fed and then as Treasury Secretary, been a loyal servant of Wall Street and the big banks. Neil Barofksy, in his blistering expose and insider’s view of how the financial bailout played out, showed how Geithner and the other senior executives in Treasury seemed to see their role as serving the interests of the banks rather than the taxpayers who were paying their salaries.
When he said he was leaving his job as Treasury secretary at the end of president Obama’s first term, there was speculation that he would be welcomed into the warm and grateful embrace of a big Wall Street firm because that is how the revolving door works. But Geithner snootily replied that he had no intention of doing so and joined the Council of Foreign Relations, one of those establishment think tanks that provide homes for people transitioning between government and the private sector.
I wasn’t buying it. I thought that he would wait for a decent interval to avoid giving the impression of an obvious quid pro quo, and then go to Wall Street. And sure enough, today comes news that this is what he has done.
I am actually surprised that he did not wait a little longer since he only left Treasury in January. But maybe the lure of big money was too strong to resist. Also, it is important to cash in on your government contacts soon, before they too leave.