As President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York between 2003 and 2009 and then Treasury Secretary for the duration of President Barack Obama’s first term, Timothy F. Geithner shaped the American response to the global financial crisis. He was at the center of Fed policy as the crisis unfolded, and he was a principal architect of the Obama Administration’s strategy to avert economic collapse and to reform the financial system.
In the face of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Geithner worked closely with Secretary Hank Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and with President Obama and his economic team to develop and execute a plan to arrest the collapse of the economy and restore economic growth, to recapitalize and restructure the financial system, and to restore access to capital and credit for businesses and individuals. Geithner and his teams at the Treasury and the Fed helped lead a crisis response that included investments, guarantees, and a variety of credit programs with peak commitments of $7 trillion. As of early 2014, the expected return on those programs totaled more than $150 billion (relative to common estimates in early 2009 of losses of $1 to 2 trillion).
Secretary Geithner led President Obama’s efforts to restructure and reform the financial system, which resulted in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The law put in place important constraints on risk in the financial system and established new protections for investors and consumers, including the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Secretary Geithner also tackled a broad set of international economic challenges while at the Treasury. At the height of the financial crisis, Secretary Geithner led international cooperation efforts to restore global stability and reform the international financial system. He provided advice and support to his European counterparts in combating the protracted eurozone crisis. Secretary Geithner also led the Administration’s economic policy toward China during a period that included China’s move to a more flexible exchange-rate system, a more open financial system, and reforms to encourage domestic demand.
Prior to becoming Secretary, Geithner was President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for five years. During his tenure, he worked to enhance the stability of the financial system, played a key role in responding to the financial crisis, and advocated for reform of the financial and regulatory system.
Geithner first joined the Department of the Treasury in 1988 and worked in a variety of positions in three administrations. From 1999 to 2001, Geithner served as Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs under Secretaries Bob Rubin and Larry Summers.
He was director of the Policy Development and Review Department at the International Monetary Fund from 2001 until 2003. Prior to his twenty-four years in public service, he worked for Kissinger Associates, Inc., from 1985 to 1988.
Geithner earned his undergraduate degree in government and Asian studies from Dartmouth College. He was awarded an MA in International Economics and East Asian Studies from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Geithner wrote STRESS TEST: Reflections on Financial Crises as a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and is now president of Warburg Pincus.
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