The Treasury Secretary of the United States always makes his mark on the economy: his signature on the bottom of every dollar bill.
In good times, that may be the only obvious imprint they leave behind.
But Timothy Geithner is making his mark as caretaker of the economy in the worst crisis since the Great Depression, the key figure in Barack Obama’s cabinet and a target for controversy.
Geithner began badly. The treasury secretary is America’s chief tax collector and he admitted he’d fallen behind on his own taxes.
Recently, his department made the politically disastrous decision allowing millions in bonuses for executives of the failed financial giant A.I.G.
U.S. President Barack Obama is backing Geithner, but some Republicans have been calling for his resignation and Wall Street hasn’t been impressed.
Lately, though, the market’s moved up and this week investors actually seemed to applaud the administration’s new ideas about helping banks sell-off bad investments. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped nearly 500 points in one day.
Most Americans want something more. They’re waiting to see what happens to all the savings, jobs and homes that are now in jeopardy.
No other mark Geithner makes will really matter.