Geithner Says Bank-Rescue Plans May Reach $2 Trillion
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner pledged government financing for as much as $2 trillion of efforts to spur new lending and address banks’ toxic assets, seeking to end the credit crunch hobbling the economy.
“Instead of catalyzing recovery, the financial system is working against recovery,” Geithner said in unveiling the Obama administration’s overhaul of the government’s financial-bailout plans in Washington today. “At the same time, the recession is putting greater pressure on banks. This is a dangerous dynamic, and we need to arrest it.”
The main components of the Treasury’s package today are a joint public- and private-sector fund to buy as much as $1 trillion of illiquid assets and a $1 trillion program to supply new credit to consumers and businesses. The administration also will inject additional taxpayer funds into banks, imposing tighter restrictions that will include limits on dividend payments, acquisitions and executive pay.
“I want to be candid: this strategy will cost money, involve risk, and take time,” Geithner said today. The initial bailout effort, which he helped administer in his previous job as head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, was “essential” while “inadequate” to support the financial system and the secondary-lending market, he said.