Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Obama - Geithner public relations disaster

Secretary of Treasury Geithner's speech on the Obama administration's approach to fix the bank was just fine but the problem was both Obama and the media built it up as "shock and awe". They just need to do a better job of coordinating messages and managing expectations. In the long run it's no big deal that yesterday was a dissappointment, it matters most whether what they do works.

I support a comprehensive plan all laid out at once, and then stick with it. Many things can work, but you have to pick one and stick with it.

I suggest:

1. ignoring these so-called toxic assets on the banks balance sheet, and injecting the banks with new capital that they would be forced to lend. This would let the banks deal with their own problems separately. So we would relax whatever rules would be necessary for banks to act like banks again.

2. I would have the FDIC develop a plan to guarantee every underwater/ delinquent mortgage where the homeowner could pay 75% of the current payment. Any benefits given to the homeowner would be placed on the back end of the loan and repaid if the house was sold at a profit.

3. I would develop new legislation for business and individuals to have a credit that would refund any losses on business risks/activities over the next 2 years up to a certain point. This could include buying house, expanding a business, purchasing stocks, etc.

We need to use the power of the government to preserve and strengthen the free market system. I'm sure the Obama team can and willl do this, they just need to plan out each step better.

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