In an interview with NPR last night, Treasury Secretary Geithner said the administration is confident it will prevent a repeat of last year’s financial crisis.
AP: “We are not going to have a second wave of financial crisis,” Geithner said on NPR’s “All Things Considered” program. “We cannot afford to let the country live again with a risk that we are going to have another series of events like we had last year. That is not something that is acceptable.”
Geithner, who believes Americans can be more confident about their financial security, rejected the notion that a new crisis could be triggered by lingering problems with commercial real estate loans or with a sudden weakening in the value of the greenback.
AP: “We will do what is necessary to prevent that and that is completely within our capacity to prevent,” he said. However, he warned that banks are not lending enough, tempering growth.
Directing his attention toward the economy Geithner said there were a number of signs that economic conditions were beginning to improve in terms of consumer and business confidence rising. But, he cautioned that dealing with the economy’s troubles would take time. “We were in a very deep hole and it is going to take a long time to repair the damage done to confidence,” he said.
Asked about unemployment, Geither said he believes Americans can be more optimistic about their employment situation. However, he conceded that it is unlikely there was any job growth in December, and that it would take several months before the economy yields positive job growth.
AP: “Most economists would say that, by the spring, we’ll have positive job growth,” Geithner said in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” .
Secretary Geithner also defended his close ties to many business leaders, saying it was necessary for him have a pulse on financial markets. “I’m the secretary of the Treasury,” he said. “I have to spend time figuring out what it’s going to take to fix the things that are broken in the financial system”.
According to Geithner, the conversations he had right after taking office “should be viewed in the context of the serious crisis facing the financial system last winter and spring.”