Geithner Profile: ‘A Creature of Washington’

BY Carolyn O'Hara  March 16, 2010 at 3:00 PM EDT

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is on the Hill before a House committee Tuesday to testify about the budget and economy. Geithner will also be making the media rounds to plug Sen. Dodd’s financial reform bill that was unveiled Monday. A senior administration official tells Politico that Geithner is going to be a highly visible backer for the reform bill: “We had to be more behind the scenes while they were working on it,” the official said. “Now we’ll be out there making the case.”

Just where Geithner stands on financial reform has been a matter of much debate among his observers. As Atlantic senior editor Joshua Green recently described in his 11,000-word profile of Geithner, “Inside Man,” Geithner is, on the one hand, denounced by some as being too close to Wall Street to adequately fix the financial system and, on the other hand, called a socialist crusader forcing through ‘anti-business’ reforms.

But which Geithner is the real Geithner? How did the 48-year-old lacking the typical profile of a Treasury secretary settle on the financial views he’d use to tackle the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression? We recently spoke to Joshua Green to find out.