LEADERSHIP

Is Geithner Strong Enough?

Is Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner equipped to turn around the economic recession and give Wall Street hope for a rebound? Bloomberg profiles the "rookie secretary" whose honeymoon period is fast running out. Two years ago, Geithner made waves by asking firms to "voluntarily clear a backlog of swap trades" but one longtime observer said it wasn't enough: "Maybe he’ll be more forceful now that he’s in a position with real power. But I’m not so sure." Experts are now questing whether Geithner's push to pump up struggling banks is the right move. "We’re giving them money, which is not going to solve anything," said one former regulator. "We’re repeating the mistakes of Japan, which wasted a decade by not moving decisively against its zombie banks." And is he even up to the task of reassuring investors? "He’s the guy who is more likely to steer a conversation with the occasional interjection but not try to dazzle or suck the oxygen out of things," said one former colleague. As Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz sums it up: "There have been many mistakes made. The big question is to what extent will the mistakes help Geithner figure out the right things to do in his new job... Let’s hope he can use those to come up with better solutions."