As Europe continues to battle its debt crisis, Timothy Geithner has a suggestion. The Treasury secretary today called on euro zone officials to leverage the region’s roughly $600 billion bailout fund, an insider tells Reuters. Geithner didn’t provide details on how Europe should go about the move, nor did he point to the US TALF fund, created in 2008 to back lenders; some have suggested TALF could be a model for Europe’s bailout fund. Geithner conceded, however, that the US is "not in a particularly strong position to provide advice to all of you," notes AP. "We still have our challenges in the United States," he said, and "our politics are terrible... maybe worse than they are in many parts of Europe."
Leveraging the fund would be a “radical” move, writes Jan Strupczewski, but it could be a way around some leaders’ opposition to expanding the fund itself. “Geithner gets how important all of this is,” said a market strategist. “Markets understand it will all take time to work through, but they want to hear that the discussions are making good progress, that the Europeans are receptive to what Geithner has to say.” Click through for details on how leveraging the European Financial Stability Facility might work.