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What Corporate Executives Would Ask Geithner

E. Hunt Burke of Burke & Herbert bank in Alexandria
E. Hunt Burke of Burke & Herbert bank in Alexandria (Marvin Joseph/twp - The Washington Post)
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By Frank Ahrens
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Senators are likely to focus on the new administration's plans for propping up the financial system when Treasury secretary nominee Timothy F. Geithner appears before the Finance Committee today.

Look for questions about what's planned for the bailout funds in the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP. Will Geithner follow the path mapped by former secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.? Or will he broaden spending to aid mortgage holders, small businesses and municipalities? What are his thoughts about the continued weaknesses among banks? And is there enough money to help all those who need help?

And there are plenty of other concerns on the minds of top business people. Post reporters asked a number of Washington area executives the following question: If you could sit down with Geithner, what would you ask him?

If you would like to add your own questions or join the conversation, go to the Economy Watch blog at http://voices.washingtonpost.com/economy-watch.

From Raymond A. Ritchey, executive vice president and national director of acquisitions and development for Boston Properties, one of the biggest real estate companies in the country:

· "What plans does [Geithner] have to free up the capital markets so that well-conceived, well-executed, non-speculative development projects can be financed (or existing buildings refinanced) on a commercially reasonable basis so that our firms can return to satisfying the space needs of our country, and put the construction industry back to work?"

· "What restrictions and/or policy changes does he plan to implement to provide the necessary assurances to investors (Wall Street to Main Street) that the abuses of the last year will not be repeated, and it is not only safe, but in their best interests, to reinvest in the market?"


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