Timothy Geithner

Obama Administration Refuses To Call Out China on Currency Manipulation Yet Again

Once again the Obama administration refuses to label China a currency manipulator. This is when the U.S.-China trade deficit looks on target to hit $300 billion and China just slapped the United States with a unjustified 22% additional tariff on American SUVs.

In the U.S. Treasury's Semi-Annual Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies, team Geithner and the Obama administration literally refuse to label China a currency manipulator in spite of overwhelming evidence.

The Report highlights the need for greater exchange rate flexibility, most notably by China, but also in other major economies. Based on the ongoing appreciation of the RMB against the dollar since June 2010, the decline in China's current account surplus, and China's official commitments at the G-20, APEC, and the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) that it will move more rapidly toward exchange rate flexibility, Treasury has concluded that the standards identified in Section 3004 of the Act during the period covered in this Report have not been met with respect to China. Nonetheless, the movement of the RMB to date is insufficient. Treasury will closely monitor the pace of RMB appreciation and press for policy changes that yield greater exchange rate flexibility, a level playing field, and a sustained shift to domestic demand-led growth.

Geithner Exempts a $30 Trillion Derivatives Market From Regulation and Oversight

On Friday, the witching hour of government press releases they want no one to read, the Treasury Department announced they will block regulation of large classes of derivatives:

Treasury is today issuing a Notice of Proposed Determination providing that central clearing and exchange trading requirements would not apply to FX swaps and forwards.

This proposed determination is narrowly tailored. FX swaps and forwards will remain subject to Dodd-Frank’s rigorous new trade reporting requirements and business conduct standards. Additionally, the Dodd-Frank Act makes it illegal to use these instruments to evade other derivatives reforms. Importantly, the proposed determination does not extend to other FX derivatives, such as FX options, currency swaps, and non-deliverable forwards. These other FX derivatives will be subject to clearing and exchange requirements.

The entire press release is almost burying the announcement for no regulation of FX swaps and forwards. Multinational corporations use FX swaps to hedge on currency fluctuations. According to Better Markets, this will bring out the financial engineers for some sort of derivative trickery fiction:

More Bad News on Financial Reform

Even more bad news on Financial Reform. The main players in the negotiations between the House and Senate versions are Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Timothy Geithner.

The Wall Street Journal:

As a result, people who know them say, they are likely to show willingness to negotiate on parts of the bill they don't view as core, while being intractable on pieces they view as elemental.

That could mean easing provisions with strict limits on derivatives trading, proposed restrictions on fees banks charge retailers and even agreeing to allow auto dealers to be exempt from new lending rules.

Nice huh? Negotiations are supposed to be between the two houses of Congress only. The entire list of conferees is front loaded with corporate representatives. Not a single Congressional representative who was pushing for real reforms, such as the Volcker rule, Glass-Steagall, stronger derivatives reform was chosen as a conferee.

Latest on China and their Currency Manipulation

There is a Strategic and Economic Dialogue between the United States and China in Beijing starting Monday. So far we have seen the United States wimp out on truly confronting China on currency manipulation. Both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are attending.


U.S. and Chinese officials have stressed that the meeting in Beijing will not be dominated by the yuan.

There are some rumblings by Clinton on the economy:

"In the coming days, officials at the highest levels of our two governments will be discussing issues of economic balance and competition," Clinton said in a speech given in a vast hangar at Shanghai airport, referring to the Beijing meeting.

"Transparency in rule making and standard setting, non-discrimination, fair access to sales to private sector and government purchasers alike, the strong enforcement of intellectual property rights are all vitally important in the 21st century global economy," Clinton told the audience of U.S. and Chinese business executives.

"American companies want to compete in China," she said, standing in front of a Boeing 737. "They want to sell goods made by American workers to Chinese consumers with rising income and increasing demand."

Meanwhile CBS MarketWatch reports:

SIGTARP Barofsky - Investigating New York Fed for Criminal & Civil Charges

Wow. Bloomberg has interviewed SIGTARP inspector General Neil Barofsky. Buried at the bottom of the story is this:

Barofsky says the question of whether the New York Fed engaged in a coverup will result in some sort of action.

“We’re either going to have criminal or civil charges against individuals or we’re going to have a report,” Barofsky says. “This is too important for us not to share our findings.”

He won’t say whether the investigation is targeting Geithner personally.

(h/t ZeroHedge)

That would be amazing is any of the architects of this disaster, including now Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, would be held publicly accountable.

William Black on Bill Moyers Journal drops bailout bomb on Obama

This evening, Bill Moyers interviewed William K. Black, the former senior regulator during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, who blew the whistle on the Keating Five (the U.S. Senators implicated in taking “gifts” from S&L bankster Charles Keating was convicted of racketeering and fraud in both state and federal court after his Lincoln Savings & Loan). Black is now an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri, and the author of the recently released book, The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.