Bill Clinton Had Unusual CEO Advice for Geithner
Slitting Lloyd Blankfein's throat wouldn't help in the long run, said former president
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2014 6:48 AM CDT
Then Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testifies on Capitol Hill in 2012.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – The New York Times magazine has a lengthy profile of Tim Geithner ahead of Monday's release of the former Treasury chief's new book, and one bit in particular involving Bill Clinton is getting a lot of attention. Geithner had asked Clinton's advice on appeasing populist anger in dealing with Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs:

  • “You could take Lloyd Blankfein into a dark alley and slit his throat, and it would satisfy them for about two days," said Clinton. "Then the blood lust would rise again.”

The Washington Post thinks that's interesting in the context of the 2016 election, considering that it could pit Hillary Clinton, seen as a safe choice by Wall Street, against the more populist Elizabeth Warren. Some other highlights, as spotted by Politico:

  • Trying to leave: Geithner says he began pushing President Obama to let him step down in 2010, suggesting Hillary Clinton as his replacement. Obama resisted, however, even lobbying Geithner's wife, Carole. "I knew it was kind of a hopeless cause—that if he needed to stay, he needed to stay—but I was not easily convinced,” she tells the Times. “And that was probably a little surprising to the president.”
  • Too big to fail: As Treasury chief, Geithner went along with the administration's reforms to end the concept of too-big-to-fail banks, but now he's got a different take. During a lecture, when asked about whether the principle still exists, he answered, “Yeah, of course it does.” Ending too-big-to-fail was “like Moby-Dick for economists or regulators. It’s not just quixotic, it’s misguided.”

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Showing 3 of 32 comments
May 10, 2014 6:39 AM CDT
That is the kind of advice one would expect from the guy who torpedoed the Glass-Stiegall Act
May 10, 2014 5:48 AM CDT
Nothing is too big to fail if the majority of Americans vote for reps. who want to break up the banks. Bankers have learned that they're immune from prosecution for wrongdoing. That needs to be changed.
Chris Farley
May 9, 2014 4:04 PM CDT
Wonder if that guy has paid any taxes since leaving.