Beginning with his tax difficulties, and continuing through the puzzling narrative of when and what he knew about the AIG bonuses, Treasury Secretary Geithner has done little to inspire the confidence of the American people. Oddly, Secretary Geithner continued his bizarre and puzzling conduct this week, making flatly contradictory statements about the dollar in a span of only 24 hours. This weakens confidence not only in him, but in the currency he is entrusted to protect.
On Tuesday, Secretary Geithner testified before the House Financial Services Committee that he ‘categorically renounces,’ recent proposals from China and others to shift away from the dollar as the world’s reserve currency [see hearing transcript below]. The next morning in New York, speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations, he was asked about the same proposals and said he is ‘quite open,’ to them [see press report below].
Really, Mr. Secretary? Is it too much to ask that your position remain unchanged over a 24 hour period?
Excerpt from Secretary Geithner’s March 24th testimony before the Financial Services Committee at approximately 11:30am:
Representative Bachmann: We’ve seen both China, Russia, and Kazakhstan, make calls for an international monetary conversion to an international monetary standard as soon as the G20, and I’m wondering would you categorically renounce the United States moving away from the dollar and going to a global currency as suggested this morning by China and also by Russia, Mr. Secretary?
Secretary Geithner: I would, yes.
As reported in the Washington Times:
An unguarded comment by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner on Wednesday set off a sudden drop in the dollar and contributed to a chain of market-rocking events that included a setback in the stock market and a sharp uptick in interest rates.
Mr. Geithner appeared to lend his support to a proposal by China’s central bank governor to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency with a basket of currencies that would be managed by the International Monetary Fund. In an appearance before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Wednesday morning, Mr. Geithner raised eyebrows by saying that ‘we’re actually quite open to that’…