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Eye Opener: Geithner Goes Back to College

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Happy Monday! Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner went back to school today, visiting Peking University in Beijing as part of his tour of China.

"I first came to China, and to Peking University, in the summer of 1981 as a college student studying Mandarin," Geithner told an audience earlier today at the university.

"We studied reasonably hard, and had the privilege of working with many talented professors, some of whom are here today. As we explored this city and traveled through Eastern China, we had the chance not just to understand more about your history and your aspirations, but also to begin to see the United States through your eyes."

The New York Times reports that "Geithner encouraged China to diversify its economy away from a heavy reliance on exports while offering Beijing assurances that Washington intended to tackle its deficit and protect the value of China’s huge investments in United States government debt."

"Following Mr. Geithner’s speech Monday, a student asked the treasury secretary whether China’s investments in the U.S. were safe. He responded without hesitation. 'Chinese financial assets are very safe,' Mr. Geithner said, eliciting some laughter. He then quickly said that the United States still has deep and liquid financial markets, and that the Obama administration is committed to tackling the deficit and maintaining a strong dollar."

Tuesday Geithner is scheduled to meet with President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

Cabinet and Staff News: Hillary Rodham Clinton attends the El Salvador inauguration today and a Latin American leaders meeting in Honduras tomorrow; she'll discuss migration and postal issues with Cuban officials. Janet Napolitano formalizes new U.S.-Canada border initiative that starts today. Ken Salazar starts over at Interior. Robert Gates grounded in Singapore.

In Cox Years at the SEC, Policies Undercut Action: A Post review of how the former California congressman damaged morale and the mission at the agency.

CIA Announces Push to Improve Agency's Language Proficiency: Director Leon Panetta unveiled plans for recruiting more officers fluent in foreign languages and for retraining thousands of current employees, using the agency's in-house "CIA University."

Special Operations' Oversight of Contractors Faulted: Federal government rules and regulations prohibit the hiring of contractors who perform actions reserved for government employees, yet a Special Operations Command unit managing the contract with L-3 Communications Integrated Systems permitted contractor approval of such matters as overtime and acceptably completed work.

Online Dialogue Yields Calls for More Government Transparency: The White House plans to launch a blog this week to discuss the ideas in greater detail. And some of those ideas will eventually find their way into a final set of recommendations for the administration.

Unions: Recession Sparking Federal Sector Organizing: The economic downturn is bad news for many Americans, but for some of the unions that represent federal employees, the recession has brought an unexpected boom in interest.

By Ed O'Keefe  | June 1, 2009; 6:15 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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'Chinese financial assets are very safe,' Mr. Geithner said, eliciting some laughter.

i'd really like to see a youtube vid of this b/c your "eliciting some laughter" is a bit different from other reports (putting it mildly).

Posted by: millionea7 | June 2, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

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