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Capitol Hill and the Financial Crisis: A Busy Week

The big bank CEOs returned to Capitol Hill this week, adding to the overall chaos that characterized the American Economy.  In addition to the CEO arrival, Obama’s stimulus plan was pushed through the house and senate.  Geithner outlined his plan as to how this administration plans to distribute the remaining funds for the bank bailout.  A number of banks that will be receiving these funds vowed to suspend or halt home foreclosures for the time being.

The bankers came to Capitol Hill to plead their case to congress, desperate to convince congress that the money they were given-nearly $165 billion combined-has not been used to pay excessive bonuses.  They stated that all of their effort was being put forth to increase lending, and hope to return all of the tax payers’ money by 2012 or sooner.

Timothy Geithner was less exact with the specific amount of money needed to pick up the financial system and increase lending.  Details of Geithner’s plan were vague; however, Geithner did promise promised that more details will follow.

Obama seemed to have better success this week on Capitol Hill, as the House and Senate reached an agreement on his stimulus plan.

The effects of the activity on Capitol Hill this week could not come at a more crucial moment.  It was reported that 6.3 million Americans are on unemployment.  The stimulus plan is key, as part of these funds will increase and extend unemployment to those who qualify.

The biggest banks involved in the escalating foreclosure numbers have vowed to stop foreclosures until early March.  Some said they will wait to hear details from the Obama administration’s loan modification program, which is said to invest at least $50 billion more to prevent foreclosures.  The plan is set to be released in the upcoming week.

Many more of these busy weeks are in store for the government.  The administration is working tirelessly to curb the long term effects that are characterize this recession.  I’m not sure if I trust the bank CEOs, as I have seen no evidence of lending opening up.  I will await details of Geithner’s plan before passing judgment.  The stimulus plan was without a doubt the most promising thing to happen on Capitol Hill this week.

Timothy Geithner’s Important Role

Upon hearing that Barack Obama named Timothy Geithner as the new Secretary of Treasury, the American markets got excited! Then I started to hear and read about this tax issue of $34,000. After all, our President had just named the man that could potentially fix the ever worsening financial crisis we currently face. Timothy Geithner is only 47 and was going to get us out of the deepest recession we have seen in generations.

Timothy Geithner’s management style and economic approach differs strongly from the former Secretary of Treasury, Henry Paulson, who is also the former CEO of Goldman Sachs. Geithner held office in the Treasury Department before working in the New York Fed in 2008. Based upon his background, I think he will have a much better understanding of the bailout and the overall process we must go through to execute the solution successfully. Paulson failed to impress me with his brief attempt to bail out some while letting others fall. He was able to rescue Bear Sterns and AIG, but letting Lehman Brothers fail? Geithner comes into office looking like the steady hand that can handle the crisis and understand our goals on a larger level.

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