During today´s Senate Banking Hearing on the Obama Administration´s regulatory restructuring proposal, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner got cheeky about a chairmanship. What was he really talking about?
This post on Dealbreaker echoes what we at BankThink thought we heard: Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., opened his remarks by greeting "Mr. Chairman," and Geithner understood the address to be directed at him. He replied, "I´m not Mr. Chairman yet."
Then he had to backtrack: He mumbled an acknowledgement that Corker had meant to address the Senate Banking Committee´s chairman.
We in the media understood Mr. Geithner to be referring to the chairman of the Federal Reserve as if he were expecting to someday assume that role. And perhaps we weren´t alone: Corker went on to ask Geithner whether it would be appropriate to have the next chairman of the Fed come from the White House, to which Geithner replied "No, I don´t think that would be appropriate."
Hence Dealbreaker´s post and BankThink´s acknowledgement of the incident. Apparently, however, we were wrong. As described in this later post on Dealbreaker, a spokesperson from the Treasury requested that the site´s blogger "clarify" her earlier post: Geithner was talking about the chairmanship of the yet nonexistent systemic risk council.
Well, readers? With all the talk of the connection between Lawrence Summers (Geithner´s mentor), who has expressed interest in the Fed chairmanship himself, and the push to grant the Fed more power in this latest regulatory restructuring push, do you buy the explanation that Geithner was talking about the council?