Geithner Calendar: Met Goldman's Blankfein More Often Than Pelosi, Reid, McConnell, Boehner (EXCLUSIVE)
By Shahien Nasiripour - The Huffington Post
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has met more often with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein than Congressional leaders, including the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader, according to his official calendar.
Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein has shown up on Geithner's calendar at least 38 times through March 2010 since the Treasury Secretary took office in January 2009, three more entries than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, 13 more than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and nearly four times as many as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner combined, according to a copy of Geithner's daily log recently published online by the Treasury Department. The imbalance is striking, considering that Geithner was heavily involved in financial regulatory reform legislation, which Congress was grappling with during the period covered by the calendar.
All told, Geithner met with, spoke to, or attempted to secure conversations with Wall Street chieftains at least 49 times during the five-month period ending in March 2010, a slight increase from the 37 entries on his calendar during the previous five-month period.
But it's still far below his first five months in office, when Geithner met with chief executives from firms like Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and BlackRock at least 76 times -- more calendar entries than for the heads of the regional Federal Reserve banks, who are the top overseers of systemically-important banks like JPMorgan, Citi, Bank of America and Wells Fargo -- or for top members of Congress like Reid, Pelosi, their Republican counterparts, and the heads of the Senate and House committees overseeing financial institutions and economic policy.
A Huffington Post review of Geithner's calendar shows how personally involved he was in Congressional efforts to re-regulate the financial system; how Christina Romer, the former chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, slowly faded from the Treasury Secretary's daily log; how Republicans may have a case when they gripe about not being consulted on economic policy; the continuing involvement of former Treasury Secretary and Citigroup chairman Robert Rubin; the revolving door of access shown to former Fed chairman Paul Volcker; and how President Barack Obama's top economic adviser, Larry Summers, was in close contact during the early months of Geithner's tenure but then faded behind White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel as the administration geared up for the pending political battle over financial reform.
The calendar entries show calls made and received -- both completed calls and attempts -- as well as face-to-face meetings in the Treasury Department and elsewhere. However, it doesn't show calls Geithner may have made from home or on his way home, or meetings he may have had on the fly while in the White House or on Capitol Hill. It's not totally complete, but it's as close to complete as available.
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