Timothy Geithner on Crisis Timing

Timothy Geithner: it’s very hard in the moment, in that early stage to know whether it’s going to be systemic, run like stampede or whether it’s going to be more like a contained shock where the failure of an individual firm doesn’t light the rest of the system on fire.  Very hard to know.  So the optimal way, I think, to respond in some sense is you should let the fire burn for a while because that's just, makes sense, helps to make people aware of risk, helps to clean up the worst parts of the system.  But you have to be prepared to escalate very, very quickly if that fire starts to burn out of control to start to imperil the strong, not just the weak.  So it’s in the fog of diagnosis you won’t be sure up front.  And if you decide at the first sign of stress you act – you intervene aggressively to protect people from risk, that’ll be a different kind of mistake.  Because in that context you leave too much of the weak parts of the system alive and you’ll end up making a future crisis more likely.

But on the other hand if you wait too long as what happened in the United States because we didn’t have enough tools and authority initially until Congress acted, and you allow it to get momentum.  Then the consequences can be devastating, very hard to break the panic if it’s too powerful.  Very hard to put out the fire and it takes what you saw to know what you are able to do -  which is massive overwhelming financial force to again protect people from the consequences of the panic.

Former United States Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner describes the importance of timing and action during a financial crisis. Geithner is the author of Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises (http://goo.gl/v0R9pg).

22 months of war - condensed in a 1-minute video

No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap

Strange Maps
  • The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
  • This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
  • Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
Keep reading Show less

Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
Technology & Innovation

Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

Keep reading Show less

How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.

  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
Keep reading Show less