NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sheila Bair's new tell-all book on the 2008 bank bailout has given fresh fodder to Wall Street critics while defending her role in trying to prevent the financial crisis.
Excerpts quoted in the media from her book Bull by the Horns: Fighting to Save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street From Itself reveal a clash of personalities and philosophies between the former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
"Tim Geithner had been the bailouter in chief during the 2008 crisis," Bair wrote scathingly in her book, according to American Banker . "If it hadn't been for my resistance and the grown-up supervision of Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke, we would have spent even more money bailing out the financial bigwigs and guaranteeing all their debt. As president of the NY Fed, Tim had been responsible for regulating many of the very institutions whose activities had gotten us all into trouble."
Bair said the President's choice of Geithner as Treasury Secretary was a "punch in the gut"."I did not understand how someone who had campaigned on a 'change' agenda could appoint someone who had been so involved in contributing to the financial mess that had gotten Obama elected," she wrote. Her own choice would have been former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, she wrote. Geithner, meanwhile, confirmed at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York Tuesday that he will not stay on in his job if President Obama gets re-elected. "I've had a lot of excitement in my job, more than my share," he told interviewer Charlie Rose, according to Bloomberg."But I think the president ... should have a chance, and will have a chance, to have somebody excellent and capable come in and help him with those challenges." He also said he will not be writing his memoirs, so we may never hear his side of the story. Bair also has harsh words for Citigroup Chairman Vikram Pandit." I thought Pandit had been a poor choice. He was a hedge fund manager by occupation and one with a mixed record at that. He had no experience as a commercial banker, yet now he was heading one of the biggest banks in the country," she wrote, according to an excerpt published in Forbes.
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