Today's Outrage: Geithner Goes Ballistic

Timothy Geither reportedly launched a cussing tirade against fellow regulators in a heavy-handed effort to get everyone in line behind Obama's plan to revamp the financial regulatory system.
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WASHINGTON (

TheStreet

) -- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner lost his cool with fellow regulators who aren't marching to the administration's beat on financial reforms.

Geithner reportedly launched an all-out cussing tirade Friday in a meeting with

Fed

Chairman Ben Bernanke,

SEC

Chairman Mary Schapiro and

FDIC

Chairman Sheila Bair.

The blowup is apparently Geithner's way of getting everyone to fall in line with President Obama's plan to revamp the U.S. financial regulatory system, according to a report in the

Wall Street Journal

, which naturally cited unnamed sources.

We can only assume that the "people familiar with the meeting" that aired this dirty laundry came from the side of the regulators who received the tongue lashing.

I imagine it was very amusing for Ben Bernanke to see his former subordinate ranting like a political big shot.

Sounds like Geithner put on quite a show. No doubt his fellow regulators, who represent quasi independent authorities, feel duly cowed.

This administration wants action and lock-step conformity to the master plan. There's no room for dissent when the president is trying to show he's got things under control.

It's bad enough that big banks like

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

,

JPMorgan

(JPM) - Get Report

,

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

,

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

,

BB&T

(BBT) - Get Report

,

Capital One

(COF) - Get Report

and

Bank of New York Mellon

(BK) - Get Report

are getting out from under the government's thumb by repaying taxpayer bailout money.

Now the administration can only pull the strings at

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

,

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

and

AIG

(AIG) - Get Report

, plus a bunch of smaller banks with no particular political clout.

If Geithner can't get the rest of the regulatory team to play by Obama's rules, the chances of a big political win on the finance front will diminish.

Congress will hesitate if even a single agency chief has doubts, and then the moment may be lost.

I wonder if we're witnessing a variation of the good cop, bad cop strategy, with Geithner obviously playing the heavy.

The next move may be for Obama to invite everyone to the White House for beers.

--Written by Glenn Hall in New York.

Glenn Hall is the New York-based editor in chief of

TheStreet.com

. Previously, he served as deputy editor and chief innovation officer at

The Orange County Register

and as a news manager at

Bloomberg News

in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Washington, D.C. As a reporter, he covered business and financial markets, worked in both print and television in the U.S. and Europe, and conducted in-depth investigative coverage at

The Journal-Gazette

in Fort Wayne, Ind. His work also has been published in a variety of newspapers including

The Wall Street Journal

,

The New York Times

and

International Herald Tribune

. Hall received a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from The Ohio State University and a certificate in project and program management from Boston University.