Turbo-Tim Gets Defensive About Deficit

After the biggest one day selloff in U.S. government debt in a long time, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Tim Geithner, got very defensive this afternoon about the explosive growth in the U.S. deficit. Bloomberg reported, Geithner Pledges to Cut Deficit Amid Rating Concern.

Well, perhaps Secretary Geithner could help Barack and team find more than .5% of his $3.5 trillion budget to cut as a start if he is serious about his pledge. Over and above that, Tim asserted:

that the rise in yields on Treasury securities this year “is a sign that things are improving” and that “there is a little less acute concern about the depth of the recession.”

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields jumped 17 basis points to 3.37 percent at 4:53 p.m. in New York.

With all due respect to the Secretary, perhaps he may want to review the fact that the overall Treasury funding needs in calendar 2009 will likely exceed the funding needs of 2006, 2007, and 2008 COMBINED. Additionally, he may want to have a chat with the governors of the Federal Reserve. In the minutes of the most recent Fed meeting, the consensus forecast for growth, unemployment, and inflation is worse than what the governors foresaw in January. Perhaps the Secretary may want to reconcile his statement with those forecasts.

Tim did hedge his bets and cover his flank by commenting that:

it’s still “possible” that the unemployment rate may reach 10 percent or higher, cautioning that the economic recovery is still in the “early stages.”

I do not pretend to think that Geithner has an easy job, but ultimately the market and investors will more value a secretary, spokesman, or analyst who is truly credible than merely an administrative mouthpiece. In my opinion, Tim has a lot of work to do on this front.

About Larry Doyle 522 Articles

Larry Doyle embarked on his Wall Street career in 1983 as a mortgage-backed securities trader for The First Boston Corporation. He was involved in the growth and development of the secondary mortgage market from its near infancy.

After close to 7 years at First Boston, Larry joined Bear Stearns in early 1990 as a mortgage trader. In 1993, Larry was named a Senior Managing Director at the firm. He left Bear to join Union Bank of Switzerland in late 1996 as Head of Mortgage Trading.

In 1998, after 15 years of trading and precipitated by Swiss Bank’s takeover of UBS, Larry moved from trading to sales as a senior salesperson at Bank of America. His move into sales led him to the role as National Sales Manager for Securitized Products at JP Morgan Chase in 2000. He was integrally involved in developing the department, hiring 40 salespeople, and generating $300 million in sales revenue. He left JP Morgan in 2006.

Throughout his career, Larry eagerly engaged clients and colleagues. He has mentored dozens of junior colleagues, recruited at a number of colleges and universities, and interviewed hundreds. He has also had extensive public speaking experience. Additionally, Larry served as Chair of the Mortgage Trading Committee for the Public Securities Association (PSA) in the mid-90s.

Larry graduated Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa in 1983 from the College of the Holy Cross.

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