Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (pictured left) says he believes it's reasonable to expect "positive job growth" by spring and that people should have confidence about an improving economic climate. In an interview broadcast on ABC's "Good Morning America," Geithner (GYT'-nur) also said he believes many banks around the country still have work ahead of them to regain the public's faith. He said, "They need to work very hard to shore it up" and said he wasn't certain that "all banks get it." Geithner's stewardship of the Treasury has come in for criticism on occasion. He said Wednesday, "I think most people would say the economy actually is strengthening now going into the end of the year," but that the key is to regain lost jobs. – AP
Dominant Social Theme: The economy makes progress.
Free-Market Analysis: This is a funny little squib of an article. But in a way it expresses as much about where we are today as Church's editorial (see other article today) expressed about his day. Church's editorial, "Yes Virginia" dealt with the timeless issues of a child's quest for magical certainty. The article excerpted above expresses the same sort of need for reassurance (from the political class) and then carries the results without demur.
While the article is dishonest from our perspective, we cannot help but be amused by the parenthetical presentation of Geithner's name. There are certainly questions as to whether governments can stimulate the economy by printing paper money and whether in fact such economies can recover so quickly from what is basically a currency collapse – but the article doesn't deal with any of these. You will, however learn exactly how to pronounce "Geithner."
This brief article (that's really all there is to it) is notable for how many dominant social themes it collapses into one paragraph. There are at least three promotions that we can delineate: the idea of the politician as economic savant, the idea of banks as critical to the infrastructure of the economy and, of course, the idea that the government itself can create jobs and economic growth.
From our point of view, none of these promotions are realistic. We do not believe that those who work in government are any wiser or more efficacious than those who work in the private sector. We do not believe that banks, especially as organized and sheltered under a larger central banking umbrella, are necessarily the only way to raise capital, and we certainly don't think that government by any stretch of the imagination can create "real" jobs.
What especially comes across in this short reportage is Geithner's near-desperation to resurrect public faith in the banking system. He even comes out and says that not all banks "get it." If you unwrap the double-speak, however, what he's saying is that fraud of central banking (and its satellites) is increasingly noted by the general public, certainly in America and probably throughout the West as well.
Geithner and his allies will do almost anything to convince the public that the policies of the political and banking class have reignited the economy. In fact, they have retarded and deepened the economic crisis by sucking capital from deserving businesses and bestowing it on fraudulent institutions and failed business models.
NOTED: U.S. pay czar Kenneth Feinberg on Wednesday approved compensation plans for several executives and top-paid employees at three firms that have received taxpayer aid. Feinberg approved up to $9.5 million for GMAC CEO Michael Carpenter in 2010, up to $6.2 million for General Motors CFO Christopher Liddell and $600,000 annually in salary stock for Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne for his service on the Chrysler board of directors. The approval for Marchionne does not include his compensation for his role as CEO, which is paid by Fiat SpA, where Marchionne is also CEO. … According to a Treasury official, the exemptions were agreed to because they were "exceptional cases." – Reuters
The current banking system is not a free-market model by anyone's definition. Its winners and losers are increasingly determined by regulatory mandates and bureaucratic dictates. What we can look forward to in 2010 is likely a spate of falsified numbers intended to convince Americans and Westerners in general that the larger economy is looking up and that the people are going back to work. Those 20-30 percent unemployed scattered throughout Western economies and dealing with the general desperation of misaligned resources and joblessness will know better. 2010 will be a difficult time.
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