Daily Video

February 26, 2009

Treasury Secretary Addresses Economy

There are over 9,000 banks in the United States. Some are doing fine in this economic crisis, some are not. Over the next few weeks, the Obama Administration plans to test 20 of the biggest banks to make sure they are healthy enough to weather the current storm.

In this video, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner details the Obama administration’s economic recovery plan and clarifies how the government plans to address the banking crisis.

Geithner makes the case that though it would be easier not to act and hope that the situation rights itself; President Obama feels immediate and big actions are necessary to prevent an even deeper recession.


“I think [nationalization]’s the wrong strategy for the country, and I don’t think it’s a necessary strategy.” – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

“The big lesson of financial crises, that governments tend to underestimate the scales of problem, they move too slowly, they’re too tentative and gradual, they escalate late, and that makes crises deeper.” – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

“I am deeply offended by the quality of judgments we’ve seen in the leadership of our nation’s financial institutions. They’ve caused a very damaging loss of confidence. Financial systems require confidence; they’re built on confidence. They’ve created a deep hole of public distrust and anger, which is enormously damaging.” – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

“Nothing we do for banks is for banks. It’s all for the benefit of the people that depend on banks — the businesses, the families, the students — that require credit in order to do things that are important to their future.” – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

Warm Up Questions

1. What is the Treasury Department? What does it do?

2. Who are the people who help President Obama decide what to do about the economic recession?

Discussion Questions

1. What did you think of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner?

2. Would it be better if the Treasury Secretary talked more plainly about the economic plan, or is it good to get the details and then try to figure them out?

3. What were the parts of the interview you understood, what did you not understand?

4. Go over the parts you didn’t understand and if you still have questions, pose them to NewsHour Economics Correspondent Paul Solman at his Business Desk: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/businessdesk/

Additional Resources

Transcript of this interview

Paul Solman’s Business Desk

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