The Treasury, Where Unicorns Frolic « The Washington Independent
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner took to the podium Monday at the White House and made a startlingly naive plea to Wall Street about its responsibilities in the midst of the recession:
“You banks need to make the extra effort to make sure that good loans are getting to creditworthy small businesses,” he said, “in order to serve the larger public good.”
He might as well have asked Genghis Khan to join the Peace Corps.
As we’ve pointed out, banks aren’t designed to serve the public good. They’re designed to make money for shareholders. And if Washington’s bailout strategy hinges on the altruism of the finance industry, then cancel Christmas, because it’s destined to fail. The banks know it. Many lawmakers know it.
And Geithner, who headed New York’s Federal Reserve Bank for five years before joining the Obama administration, should know it as well.