Geithner: Wall Street Is Safe Again

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2009 10:00 AM CDT
Timothy Geithner talks about the country's economic and financial health while testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, Friday, July 24, 2009, on Capitol Hill in Washington.    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – The return of hefty profits on Wall Street doesn't mean that banks are returning to previous bad behavior, Tim Geithner insists. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the Treasury secretary says the big banks are safer now because "they're running with much less leverage," greater liquidity, and healthier balance sheets. "The weakest parts of the system don't exist anymore."

"I don't think the financial system is reverting to past practice, and we won't let that happen," Geithner says. Nevertheless, the Obama administration remains anxious about populist anger toward the financial sector, particularly concerning outsize pay packets. Today the seven largest bailed-out banks must submit information on their 100 top-paid execs, which the government's new pay czar will review.