Spitzer on Geithner: “He’s Not Corrupt, Just Wrong”
Eliot Spitzer is a former Governor of New York State. He served as New York State Attorney General from 1998 until 2006 and as the 54th Governor of New York from January 2007 until his resignation on March 17, 2008. He is currently a Slate magazine columnist and professor of political science at City College of New York.
Question: You’ve called for emails between the New York Fed and AIG to be released. What do you believe they would reveal?\r\n
Eliot Spitzer: Well, understand that the New York Fed is at the vortex of all the regulation that is supposed to occur with respect to banks. The New York Fed is the least known, but most important regulatory body out there. It oversees all of the financial institutions, controls access to borrowing for these institutions, and actually has individuals from the New York Fed present at each of the banks. So, it can see and hear and feel what’s going on in the marketplace, and yet it failed abjectly to see what was going on in terms of leverage in terms of risk exposure, etc.\r\n
Now, this is all while Tim Geithner was President of the New York Fed and Tim Geithner said when he was being confirmed for Treasury Secretary, he had never been a regulator. Which should have been not just a flare; it should have been an exploding missile saying this guy didn’t understand his job. And I think he has failed as Treasury Secretary as a consequence. Put that aside for a moment.\r\n
The AIG debacle and the bailout of AIG, where $180 billion of tax money was funneled through AIG, much of it then being passed through AIG to the counterparties, everybody from Goldman Sachs on down, were given 100 cents on the dollar on credit default swaps they had bought from AIG for no apparent reason Goldman was given a check for $12.9 billion, which is, parenthetically, just about precisely the profit they booked last year, calendar year ’09. So, the entirety of Goldman’s profit you can think of as a taxpayer infusion. Why did we give that to them?\r\n
Now, Geithner and Blankfein would say, because we were owed it. What? Now, what possible reason was there for taxpayers to give Goldman Sachs that money? I want to see what their conversation was back and forth. Would Goldman have failed absent of that infusion? Did we negotiate with Goldman in return and get stock, get warrants; did we negotiate the amount of the payment? Why 100 cents on the dollar? All sorts of other people have been taking huge financial hits. Why did Goldman get paid off?\r\n
There are many, many areas of inquiry that would be exposed and would be explained if we could break through and see AIG’s emails radiating out into the regulatory and financial center.\r\n
Question: Do you believe Secretary Geithner was in bed with large banks, or just unwilling to stand up to them?\r\n
Eliot Spitzer: Well, let me make it clear. I don’t think Tim Geithner is a bad person by any stretch of the imagination. He’s not corrupt. He’s not taking bags of cash. He’s not morally in anyway suspect. He’s just wrong. And as I say, there’s no crime in being wrong. We are all wrong at one point or another in varying degrees, and I’m certainly in that category as well, as everybody knows. So, he was wrong. So, when I say he failed as Treasury Secretary, or has failed as Treasury Secretary and as President of the New York Fed, it’s because he did not bring the right set of principles and understanding of what his regulatory role was supposed to be. He embraced the Alan Greenspan worldview of “let them do what they want because the marketplace somehow will provide a magic answer.” And that I think is the intellectual error that he has committed, along with Larry Summers, and again, extraordinarily smart, brilliant individual, but just wrong. And there’s no crime in being wrong, but I think that they have just taken us to a point, in terms of economic policy, that is not good and we have all paid a price in terms of the cataclysm of the past two years.\r\n
Question: What would you do differently if you were on Obama’s economic team?\r\n
Eliot Spitzer: Well, understand that when the meltdown occurred. And so, let’s begin at the point of the meltdown. Prior to the meltdown, to give you a quick answer on that, leverage was completely out of control. There should have been dramatic limitations in a scaling back of leverage. There should have been a redefinition of what banks that had access to the federal window, the federal reserve window, in terms of tax, gaining access to federal guarantees and actual cash could do with that money and that’s prospectively as well.\r\n
So, retrospectively, they failed to control the leverage and the risk that was coursing through the system and that’s why we refer to it as systemic risk. Prospectively, the fundamental reform we need, and thankfully the President has now begun to listen to Paul Volcker much more than to Tim Geithner and Larry Summers on this, we’re beginning to say to banks, we will no longer permit you to ask taxpayers to cover the downside while you keep the upside. Notice the asymmetry between risk and reward is what led to the massive overleveraging and over exposure of the system. It’s what we have called, it’s somebody else’s line not mine, we’ve socialized risk and privatized gain. And anytime I can play with a huge pile of money, and if Iose it’s your problem, but if I win I keep the upside, of course I’m going to get involved in much riskier investments than I should. And so, we need to correct that balance, scale back the leverage, tell the banks, do what banks are supposed to do. If you want access to federal dollars, to guaranteed deposits, lend that money to people who will create jobs, who will be businesses borrowing to expand, rather than using it for either hedge funds, private equity investments, proprietary trading, the sorts of endeavors that create great risks through the system.\r\n
So, that is one structural issue which the President has now begun to focus on. Whether it’s post-Massachusetts and post-political meltdown or not, it doesn’t really matter to me. He’s now getting that right and I’m hoping that Geithner and Summers are having their wings clipped because they’re the ones who were not articulating for the President the obligation to put that sort of reform in place.
Recorded January 21, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen
The ex-governor delivers a stinging critique of Obama’s economic team and outlines what he would do in Tim Geithner’s place.
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The results of this study showed depressive symptoms being highest in adolescence, declining in early adulthood and then climbing back up again into one's early 30s.
- A 2020 Michigan State University study examined the link between teen social networks and the levels of depression later in life.
- This study used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, specifically targeting social network data. The results showed depressive symptoms being highest in adolescence and declining in early adulthood, then climbing back up again into one's early 30s.
- There are several ways you can attempt to stay active and socially connected while battling depression, according to experts.
The study suggested that teenagers who have a smaller social circle showed higher rated of depression later on in life.
Credit: asiandelight/Shutterstock<p><a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-09/msu-tsn093020.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A 2020 Michigan State University study</a> examined the link between teen social networks and the levels of depression later in life. The results of this study suggested teens who have a larger number of friends in adolescent years may be less likely to suffer from depression later in life. These findings were especially prominent in women.</p><p>This study used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, specifically targeting social network data. This data asks students to select up to 5 male and 5 female friends and indicate how often they felt depressive symptoms. </p><p>MSU Sociology Assistant Professor Molly Copeland and lead author Christina Kamis (Sociology doctoral candidate at Duke University) published the study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior in September. </p><p><strong>Female teenagers may struggle more with depression during their teen years but show fewer depressive symptoms later in life.</strong> </p><p>For female adolescents, popularity can lead to increased depression during their teen years. However, this ultimately may lead to lasting benefits of fewer depressive symptoms later in life. "Adolescence (is) a sensitive period of early life when structural facets of social relationships can have lasting mental health consequences," Copeland wrote, adding that "compared to boys, girls face additional risks from how others view their social position in adolescence."</p><p>Throughout this study, men showed no association between popularity and depressive symptoms, however, they did show benefits from naming more friends. As for why this is, Copeland has a theory: perhaps the expectations on young girls (compared to young boys) as well as the roles that lead to popularity can create a kind of stress and strain felt more prominently by girls than boys. </p><p>While this does create more difficult teen years for young girls, the stress and strain may lead to giving these girls a psychological skillset that benefits them later in life, allowing them to deal with stressful situations more easily.</p><p>The study also suggested that teenagers who have a smaller social circle showed higher rates of depression later on in life. </p><p><strong>Results from both men and women followed a U-shaped trajectory of depressive symptoms.</strong></p><p>The results showed depressive symptoms being highest in adolescence and declining in early adulthood, then climbing back up again into one's early 30s. This was particularly more noticeable in women, who showed a steeper decline in symptoms between the ages of 18-26, followed by a more rapid increase in symptoms in their early 30s. </p>
How to stay social while battling depression<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ1MjA3MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNDMyNDY1N30.e1ULIJ5QYXh4H1SGUPUTJqYBCnX2XWp6InjPRr-2Bdw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C22%2C0%2C22&height=700" id="832fd" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b360bb24fb8d6025680bfffb52fd5982" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="depression support group illustration" />
Attending support groups, planning activities with family or even just a weekly phone call to a friend can help alleviate depression.
Credit: Mascha Tace/Shutterstock<p>Although maintaining relationships can help you cope, it can also be one of the most difficult things to do when you're experiencing depression.</p><p>As Dr. Jennifer L. Payne (an assistant professor/co-director of the Women's Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore) <a href="https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/major-depression/staying-socially-active-with-depression/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">tells Everyday Health</a>: "One of the common symptoms of depression is social isolation." </p><p>Payne goes on to explain that you can "soak up some energy" by simply being around other people, moving around, and staying active.</p><p><strong>Creating a daily schedule and planning activities ensures action. </strong></p><p>While it may be easy to turn down last-minute plans, it's more difficult to cancel plans you've already committed to with friends and family. While it's important not to overwhelm yourself with a packed schedule, creating a minimal daily schedule that involves seeing friends and family or doing activities that you've previously enjoyed can ensure you stay active and often makes you feel more accomplished at the end of each day. </p><p><strong>Support groups and social networking with people who understand. </strong></p><p>While depression can very easily make you feel isolated and alone, surrounding yourself with others who may be struggling with depression as well can help in multiple ways. You will have peer support from people who relate to how you're feeling plus the added benefit of being around people, which can raise your spirits. </p><p><strong>Keeping a journal (and setting goals) can help you feel accomplished. </strong></p><p>Keep a thought journal and detail certain daily or weekly goals (such as a plan to call a friend on Monday or to visit your local coffee shop for a change of scenery on Thursday). These small, achievable goals not only get you out of the house and/or interacting with others, but they also provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction once they are complete. </p><p><strong>Random acts of kindness, such as volunteering, will make you feel good. </strong></p><p><a href="https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/kindness-benefits-james-doty?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1596517476" target="_self">Being kind is good for your health</a> in many different ways. Doing something nice for others can boost your serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of satisfaction and well-being. Similar to exercise, kindness, and altruism can also release endorphins, creating a <a href="https://www.quietrev.com/6-science-backed-ways-being-kind-is-good-for-your-health/#:~:text=Kindness%20releases%20feel%2Dgood%20hormones&text=Doing%20nice%20things%20for%20others,as%20a%20%E2%80%9Chelper's%20high.%E2%80%9D" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">temporary sense of euphoria</a> that can help combat depressive symptoms. </p>
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