‘No Risk’ Of US Credit Downgrade? Clueless Timothy Geithner Has GOT To Go

Let the words of Turbo Tax (so named because the man who would be charged with enforcing US tax laws and policy failed to pay his own damned taxes and then blamed it on Turbo Tax) Timothy Geithner now resonate throughout the land:

That now proven-to-be-utterly stupid pronouncement was not what people who had something of an actual clue were saying prior to the debt deal:

Analysis: U.S. credit downgrade ‘inevitable’
By Daniel Stone | The Daily Beast – Mon, Jul 25, 2011

Only seven days stand between the U.S. and the effects of a credit default. But a downgrade of the nation’s stellar AAA credit rating seems a lot more likely, and a lot sooner.

The White House had been alerted repeatedly over the past month by rating agencies that without a strong, long-term plan to restructure the country’s debt, they would lower America’s credit rating as soon as this Friday, according to two officials familiar with the process. The White House was warned that the deal would have to be significant—and not a short-term fix over the next few days to avoid a credit drop.

Which makes it worth asking: Just what DOES this fool actually understand?  And why on earth should anyone believe anything he says after this???

Notice that the following article was questioning Geithner’s basic intelligence well before the S & P decision to downgrade the US credit rating Friday at a time when maybe Geithner could have turned out to be correct.

Geithner Downgrades His Own Credibility to Junk: Jonathan Weil
By Jonathan Weil- Apr 20, 2011 4:00 PM PT

Fox Business reporter Peter Barnesbegan his televised interview with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner two days ago with this question: “Is there a risk that the United States could lose its AAA credit rating? Yes or no?”

Geithner’s response: “No risk of that.”

“No risk?” Barnes asked.

“No risk,” Geithner said.

It’s enough to make you wonder: How could Geithner know this to be true? The short answer is he couldn’t.

All you have to do is read the research report Standard & Poor’s published on April 18 about its sovereign-credit rating for the U.S., and you will see it estimated the risk of a downgrade quite succinctly. “We believe there is at least a one-in-three likelihood that we could lower our long-term rating on the U.S. within two years,” said S&P, which reduced its outlook on the government’s debt to “negative” from“stable.”

There you have it: Geithner says the chance of a downgrade is zero. S&P says the odds it will cut its rating might be greater than one out of three.  So who are you going to believe? Geithner? Or the people at S&P who actually will be deciding what S&P will do about S&P’s own rating of U.S. sovereign debt?

It would be one thing to express the view that a downgrade would be unwarranted, or that the chance of it happening is remote. Either of these positions would be defensible. Geithner went beyond that and staked out an absolutist stance that reeks of raw arrogance: There is no risk a rating cut will occur. He left no room for a trace of a possibility, ever.

Battling Barney

The mystery is why Geithner would say such a thing. What’s he going to do if S&P or some other rating company winds up disagreeing with him? Send Barney Frank to beat them up?  The problem for leaders who make indefensible claims like this one is that, after a while, nobody knows whether to believe anything they say. Just remember all those government officials inGreece, Ireland and Portugal who kept saying their countries didn’t need bailouts, long after it became clear they did.

This was the same answer Geithner gave during an ABC News interview in February 2010, when asked if the U.S. might lose its AAA rating. “Absolutely not,” he said. “That will never happen to this country.” So, an asteroid could destroy the entire Eastern seaboard 100 years from now. And, in the world according to Geithner, we’re supposed to believe America’s top rating would be safe.

Perhaps Geithner would be well-positioned to make such assessments if he were the only person on the planet with the authority to grade sovereign debt — and if there were zero risk that he would ever die. Not only is Geithner mortal, he doesn’t even work for a nationally recognized statistical rating organization.

[...]

Timothy Geithner needs to go.  He needs to go like three years ago.

Geithner is the epitome of just how profoundly out-of-touch and arrogant Barack Obama and his failed administration is.

Case closed.  Geithner has got to go.

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