Geithner & Co. may know policy, but they’ve proven less than adept at inspiring the public to accept tough medicine. Their most effective point man is in danger of being overused, one analyst says.
Reporting from Washington — The first time Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner was sent out as point man to sell the Obama administration’s financial rescue plan, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 382 points. And Geithner’s subsequent efforts as a center-stage spokesman were less than resounding successes.
On Monday, the administration took a different approach. Geithner largely confined himself to conducting a pen-and-pad-only news conference that excluded TV and effectively reduced the secretary from point man to staff briefer. The Dow soared nearly 500 points.
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In a Congressional hearing today, Bernanke and Geithner are likely to once again call on Congress to enact legislation that would allow the government to safely dismantle a big financial institution, like American International Group Inc
., to minimize any damage to the U.S financial system and the broader economy.