Dec. 1 - U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner defended policy actions taken in light of the recent financial crisis in the United States, warning ''forces'' are trying to weaken financial reforms. Conway G. Gittens reports.
As finance ministers in Europe continue to hammer out a response to their two-year debt crisis, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is defending the Obama administration's response to the recent banking crisis in the U.S. Speaking at a conference of the Office of Financial Research, Geithner said there are forces at work trying to water down the landmark Wall Street reforms put in place after the crisis. SOUNDBITE: U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY TIMOTHY GEITHNER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "If you look at the debate today, even with all the damage caused by the crisis, even with millions of Americans still out of work or trying to stay in their homes, huge unused capacity across the productive sector of the economy, even in the face of the European crisis, we are seeing a determined effort to slow and weaken the reforms, these financial reforms that we think are critical to the ability, our ability to protect the economy from a future financial crisis." Geithner said many tactics are being used to slow down the reforms, which he says were needed after the financial crisis ushered in the Great Recession. SOUNDBITE: U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY TIMOTHY GEITHNER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "My view is that as a result of these reforms and those still ahead our financial system is in much stronger shape than it was before the crisis. We closed down the weakest parts and we forced the survivors to make a very tough test of market, to meet a very tough test of market viability." But those tough tests are not over. The Federal Reserve recently announced new stress tests to see how major U.S. banks would hold up if the European debt crisis worsens. Conway Gittens, Reuters