NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, maintains he didn't gift the banks a $185 billion credit line to make money for taxpayers.
Speaking with TheStreet's Jim Cramer Wednesday at a Barnes & Noble in Manhattan, Geithner delivered a series of unscripted comments that managed to sound fresh amid the media blitzkrieg surrounding the promotion of "Stress Test," his memoir about the actions of bankers, government officials and a skeptical public angrily consumed by the Great Recession.
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True to form, Geithner, 52, wore a dark suit, blue shirt, purple tie, black leather loafers (somewhat worn-down) and a digital watch. Some of the highlights:
- "In March of '09, the conventional wisdom in much of elite opinion was that we were going to lose $1 to $2 trillion on the direct cost of the financial rescue, not the cost of the loss of unemployment or wealth, but the direct cost of the financial rescue. But because we did a very forceful creative effort, the taxpayers are going to get a positive return ... and we didn't do it to make money for the taxpayer, we made money to prevent them from having mass unemployment."