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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Geithner Meets With Obama, Issues New Bailout Rules

New Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is set to have his first daily economic update meeting with President Obama this morning and has hit the ground running, announcing new rules for getting a piece of the remaining $350 billion of the $700 billion government bailout/rescue plan, such as an attempt to limit lobbyists' influence on the funds.

Here's Geithner's statement from his swearing-in last night at Treasury after his 60-34 Senate confirmation -- the closest vote on a Treasury designee since World War II:

"Thank you Mr. President.

Thank you Mr. Vice President.

And thanks to my many friends and colleagues for being here this evening.

My wife, Carole, stood beside me as I took this oath of office, as she has before in this building. I want to thank her for extraordinary grace and support. She has a remarkable capacity for calm wisdom and empathy. Our children Elise and Benjamin are back at school in New York doing their mid term exams. I miss them and am proud of them.

I am very pleased that my father, Peter Geithner, and my brother David are here, representing my terrific family. My father gave me, among many wonderful things, the important gift of showing me the world as a child. He took us to live in Zambia and Rhodesia, then to India and Thailand, and from those places I saw America through the eyes of others. It was that experience -- seeing first hand the extraordinary influence of American policy on the world -- that led me to work in government.

I first walked into this building about 20 years ago.

I had at Treasury the wonderful experience of working with smart and dedicated people working for their country, with the shared goal of making government more effective, improving the results produced by policy, in an environment where our obligation was to debate the merits, to do what was right not what was expedient, drawing on the best ideas and expertise.

Treasury's tradition is to defend the integrity of policy, to respect the constraints imposed by limited resources, and to limit government intervention to where it is essential to protect our financial system and improve the lives of the American people.

That tradition is important today, but because it is that tradition of credibility that makes it possible for governments to do what is necessary to resolve a crisis. In the world we confront today, Treasury has to be a source of initiative, not just a reminder of the constraints of reality.

We are at a moment of maximum challenge for our economy and our country.

Our agenda is to move quickly to help you do what the country asked you to do.

To launch the programs that will bring economic recovery sooner, to make our economy more productive, to restore trust in our financial system with fundamental reform, to make our tax system better at rewarding work and investment, more fair and more simple.

And to restore confidence in America's economic leadership around the world.

I pledge all of my ability to help you meet that challenge and to restore to all Americans the promise of a better future.

Mr. President, I am deeply grateful for your trust and confidence.

We will work our hearts out for you.

Thank you for giving me this great privilege of working for you."

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  January 27, 2009; 10:21 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Geithner, Obama  
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Next: Geithner's New Bailout Rules: No Political Interference Allowed


oh yes wonderful. I dare not imgaine what the american people think about a sec of treasury who has been a tax-avoider and in partly responsibel for the mess which took place with the first steps of the bail-out. and a caterer to the reckless bonifaces of wallstreet and the arrogant banks. from now on any citizen can claim forgetfullness and innocence with regard to the avoidance of her/his taxes. there were so many highly qualified people around for this job.

Posted by: fieldon | January 27, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"So many highly qualified people"

1) Name them.
2) Ask them if they want to go through the vetting process, and expose any little problems in their past to media scrutiny, all for the privelege of taking a large reduction in salary to do the hardest job in the economy right now.

He DID pay the taxes when it was caught on the audit, and then went back and paid more that were beyond the statute of limitations. And the fact is, the people who with the brains and experience to do this job tend to push the envelope a bit when it comes to taxes.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | January 27, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Seems like everyone on BOTH sides of the isle think this man is very talented and up to the task. And I don't know of anyone who hasn't made mistakes in their life. Give the guy a chance.

Posted by: Bluto1999 | January 27, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

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