The May 14 news article “ Putting out the fire, stirring up flames ” reported that former treasury secretary Timothy F. Geithner concludes in his new book that “the lingering public revulsion for what we did, for bailouts and stimulus and government intervention to resolve financial crises, is a serious problem for the policymakers who will stand in my shoes in the future.” But the public revulsion was not against governmental intervention in times of crisis. It was, and continues to be, over how this intervention rewarded the very individuals responsible for the crisis.
Ordinary Americans are appalled that our representatives spent billions in taxpayers’ dollars to bail out financial institutions without significant consequences for those who perpetrated the crisis. The outrage is over large bonuses paid to executives after taxpayers saved their institutions from failing. That senior executives of these institutions, who either knew what they were doing or should have known, continued in their jobs and earned millions causes Americans to lose faith in their government and regulatory process.
The policymakers who stand in Mr. Geithner’s shoes in the future will have no serious problem if they resolve future crises in a way that also holds the perpetrators of those crises to account.
Kersy B. Dastur, McLean