I like the symmetry here. On November 21, when Barack Obama announced that he was nominating Tim Geithner to be his Treasury secretary, the Dow rose 494 points and broke through the 8,000 barrier. On February 10, when Geithner gave his first major speech as Treasury secretary, the Dow fell 273 points and broke through the 8,000 barrier.
The speech was surprising only in its vagueness. It’s been over 11 weeks since Obama’s announcement, and this is the best that Geithner can come up with?
We are exploring a range of different structures for this program, and will seek input from market participants and the public as we design it.
Geithner promises unprecedented levels of transparency for the new plan. So far, all we have is talk. The markets will wait to actually see the details — and, of course, will wait for Congressional approval of all this — before they start believing.