Timothy Geithner: ‘Stay tuned’ for bank crackdown

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Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner hinted Friday that the financial sector may yet face a reckoning with the government for wrongdoing that led to the financial crisis.

‘You should stay tuned for that,’ Geithner said in an interview with CNBC on Friday.

Geithner said that there had already been ‘very, very dramatic enforcement actions,’ but he said, ‘I’m sure you’re going to see more to come.’

Geithner was responding to concerns that Wall Street firms have not faced more legal repercussions for behavior leading up to the financial crisis -- concerns that have recently been voiced by the Occupy Wall Street protests.


Geithner’s comments are another sign of the resurgent anger toward the financial sector. Friday morning, Italian students stormed Goldman Sachs’ building in Milan, Reuters reported, as protests spread around the globe.

Geithner did not elaborate on what legal actions may be coming, or from which agencies. Geithner’s Treasury Department would not likely be involved, but officials at the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission have indicated that they are still looking at companies and executives whose conduct may have helped precipitate or exacerbate the crisis.

Geithner, the former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, has been criticized in progressive circles for being too close to Wall Street banks, but in recent weeks, Geithner has struck a more aggressive tone toward financial firms.

Last week, Geithner told CNN that the Obama administration is ‘going to push back harder’ against efforts by banks to water down financial reform. Banks have been involved in a lengthy lobbying push to make financial reform legislation more bank friendly.

Geithner said that, ‘in the end, we are going to prevail.’


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Geithner’s stature and influence at the White House increase

--Nathaniel Popper