In a new autobiography being released today, former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairwoman Sheila Bair has taken aim at Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for his response to the 2008 economic collapse.
The New York Times reports that Bair's new book, ‘Bull By the Horns: Fighting to Save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street from Itself,’ paints Geithner as a ‘bailouter in chief’ and questions whether federal efforts to bailout the larger companies in the financial services industry was merely a cover to help the ailing Citigroup. Bair writes that other major commercial banks were in much better financial shape than Citigroup and could have continued without bailout funds, while nonbanks such as Morgan Stanley were able to get private investments to help regain stability.
‘How much of the decision-making was being driven through the prism of the special needs of that one, politically-connected institution?’ Bair writes, adding that her participation in the bailout programs was ‘the most distasteful thing I have ever done in public life.’
Bair's book also repeats earlier claims that she made regarding her problems in being respected by other federal regulators and officials, while noting that Geithner treated her to an ‘expletive-laced tongue lashing’ when she questioned his policy decisions.
‘Geithner just couldn't see things from my point of view,’ writes Bair, who is nowÂ a senior adviser to the Pew Charitable Trusts.