IS TIM GEITHNER TOO BIG TO FAIL?

Tim Fernholz rounds up some evidence that Geithner's political acumen is, err, less than Emmanuel-esque, and quotes Politico's speculation that Tim Geithner is simply "too big to fail." That may be true. On the other hand, you could also say that Geithner is particularly well-placed to fail: He has been simultaneously presented as being somewhat hapless and yet somehow completely responsible for the whole of the Obama administration's response to the financial crisis. Peter Orszag tells Jon Stewart that “I have to be more constrained, because [the bailout] really is Geithner’s." People around Summers say that "when it comes to the bank bailout, the consensus is that Summers has scrupulously respected Geithner's turf." If the day ever comes, in other words, that the administration needs to radically change course, they can jettison Geithner and lay the whole thing in his lap.

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