March 23rd, 2009
08:53 AM ET

My plan for bad bank assets

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Timothy Geithner
For the Wall Street Journal

The American economy and much of the world now face extraordinary challenges, and confronting these challenges will continue to require extraordinary actions.

No crisis like this has a simple or single cause, but as a nation we borrowed too much and let our financial system take on irresponsible levels of risk. Those decisions have caused enormous suffering, and much of the damage has fallen on ordinary Americans and small-business owners who were careful and responsible. This is fundamentally unfair, and Americans are justifiably angry and frustrated.

The depth of public anger and the gravity of this crisis require that every policy we take be held to the most serious test: whether it gets our financial system back to the business of providing credit to working families and viable businesses, and helps prevent future crises.

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Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • Economy • Finance • Treasury Secretary
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Fuller

    First, I agree with Bill. Money has to come from somewhere, and no one is explaining the origin of the money. I can only believe it is being printed, therefore increasing the money supply, which creates inflation, which, by definition is "an increase in the money supply".

    Moreover, Joe Johns over simplified the average American tonight by saying we are only concerned with "ATM Fees". No sir. We understand deposits, reserves, lending and borrowing. We also understand that our hard earned money was used to back interest only loans during the peak of a real esate "bubble". Mr. Johns should have more respect for the intellect of AC360 viewers.

    March 24, 2009 at 12:48 am |
  2. Jim M

    Moving ahead on banks is needed; however, what about the credit unions in which handle approximately 8% of individual depositor funds?

    On March 20th, 3 new banks failed. But something new happened. Two of the nations 28 corporate credit unions were also taken over by the Federal Credit Union Association. These entites (US Central and Western Corp.) represent assetts worth $57 billion dollars (70% of the credit union market assets), and are not eligible for the Treasury Department's current "bailout" program.

    What's next on the horizon?

    March 23, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  3. Bill

    Somebody should breakdown the disappearance of money in the world and determine where, at least some of it has gone. Instead of just trying to distract people with the hugh sums of money corporate executives are receiving.

    As in basic physics, energy cannot be created nor destroyed, and as money is a representation of energy generated by people, whether it be found in new construction, renovation, war, or bank accounts, the money is somewhere. Why doesn’t somebody explain where the money is now.

    For sure the world’s money has not disappeared and for nobody to want to explain where it is now is to think that there are no thinking people in the world. A simple perspective but assuredly true.

    March 23, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  4. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    We borrowed too much and let our financial system take on irresponsible levels of risk--–what do you me We? It is as much as being irresponsible in letting you try to resolve this "alone" as it was for the corporate greed machine--I would advise you get some assistance or you will be eaten alive.

    March 23, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  5. xtina, chicago IL

    I have three points.:

    This money- these "government resources in the form of capital" that the Treasury will pay out- the federal Treasury doesn't really have that money, do they?

    Secondly, why don't you make it tax deductible for people to buy real estate. I believe that will be an incentive for investors to purchase properties.

    Thirdly, why don't you make it tax deductible for people to buy a new car in '09? Seems to make good economic sense to me.

    March 23, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  6. Cindy

    Buying up these bad assets and printing more money has been tried before many times all over the world and it failed every time. So how is this any different other than the scale at which it is being tried on? That just means the bigger the scale the harder the fall!


    March 23, 2009 at 10:10 am |