Geithner Won’t Rule Out Another Stimulus
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Sunday declined to rule out seeking another stimulus from Congress, but he made no specific suggestion that a request is coming and said the administration’s focus is on ensuring the effectiveness of the existing economic rescue plan.“We need to keep acting as forcefully as we can,— Geithner said during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.— Pressed on whether another stimulus is needed, he said, “We can’t make that judgment now.—With the administration accused of treating bank executives more favorably than it did General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner, whom President Barack Obama effectively fired last month, Geithner said that the heads of financial firms could also wind up on the chopping block. Noting that administration officials had moved to replace top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, he said, “We’ll do that in the future if necessary.— Asked whether the administration would ensure the enforcement of Congressionally mandated limits on executive pay at companies receiving bailouts, Geithner said, “absolutely.— But Geithner also indicated the administration must do what is “most effective.— A report in the Washington Post said the administration is devising ways for bank executives to get around the limits.White House senior adviser David Axelrod, appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” did not deny the story, indicating that the administration needed these companies to help with the financial system rescue plan. Geithner said any rulemaking on the law would appear in draft form and receive comment before being finalized.Geithner indicated the nation may face double-digit unemployment, but he suggested it could be stopped. “Depends how effective we are,— he said. He noted that there are “encouraging signs— on the economy but that progress would be uneven and that improvement in employment lags behind a turnaround in the gross domestic product.Geithner also said the administration will move to prevent a new program that allows banks to scoop up the toxic assets of others, prompting those banks to keep their own bad loans on their books.