Geithner Calendar: Met Goldman's Blankfein More Often Than Pelosi, Reid, McConnell, Boehner (EXCLUSIVE)

Geithner Calendar: Met Goldman's Blankfein More Often Than Pelosi, Reid, McConnell, Boehner (EXCLUSIVE)

Scroll down for the interactive chart of Geithner's schedule

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.

For example, as the recently-enacted financial re-regulation bill was entering its home stretch in the House from October through December 2009, Geithner's calendar shows at least 33 entries for the man who shepherded the legislation through the House, Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank. There are 35 entries for Frank in the preceding eight-plus months.

And after the House passed the bill and it went to the Senate, Geithner began spending more time with Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd. From January to March of this year Dodd shows up on Geithner's calendar at least 37 times. Last year the banking chairman made it onto Geithner's calendar just 29 times.

"He was deeply involved in financial reform. The calls bear that out," said Steven Adamske, Treasury's deputy assistant secretary for public affairs.

Adamske, who recently joined Treasury after serving as Frank's top spokesman for the House Financial Services Committee, said he remembers Geithner calling "a couple times a day" and that when the Treasury Secretary would call his former boss, Frank would often put him on speaker phone.

The increased contact with Obama's chief of staff, Emanuel, partly reflects the fight over financial reform, Adamske added.

He noted that the White House became much more involved in financial reform once it got to the Senate. Obama, for example, began talking about it more.

From November 2009 to March 2010, a period during which the House voted to pass the bill and Dodd negotiated with his Republican counterparts over critical measures like the makeup of the new consumer-oriented financial regulator, Emanuel shows up at least 158 times on Geithner's daily log, nearly equaling the total reached over the eight-plus months leading up to November.

But while the global financial crisis roiled the markets from its September 2008 peak through the early spring -- the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a 12-year low in March 2009 -- it was Summers who most frequented Geithner's calendar.

The head of Obama's National Economic Council, Summers is the president's top economic adviser. He's also reportedly one of Geithner's mentors. And during the first two full tumultuous months of Geithner's term, Summers was listed on Geithner's calendar at least 86 times -- more than Obama and Emanuel combined.

As the months wore on, though, Summers began to fade from the log.

During the first four full months of Geithner's tenure in 2009, Summers's name appeared at least 134 times. But during the last four full months for which records are publicly available (December through March 2010), Summers made the calendar 98 times.

Geithner's calendar also shows the up-and-down access that former Fed chairman Paul Volcker and recently-departed Council of Economic Advisers chair Christina Romer had with the Treasury Secretary.

Volcker is listed at least 21 times from the start of Geithner's tenure through May 2009. He's then listed nine times over the next seven months. Last October, Volcker told the New York Times of his relationship with the administration: "I did not have influence to start with."

He resurfaced in January when Obama announced that he was adopting Volcker's proposal to limit risk-taking by banks, appearing on Geithner's calendar at least 11 times over the next three months. His proposal has since become known as the "Volcker Rule." A slightly watered-down version was included in the final financial reform legislation.

Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, another reported Geithner mentor, appears at least five times on Geithner's 2009 calendar. But during the month of January 2010, when Obama publicly endorsed the "Volcker Rule," Rubin had four entries. He didn't appear to have any calendar entries in February or March, though.

As for Romer, she appears prominently on Geithner's calendar during his first few months on the job. She then faded from the log, appearing just 11 times from November 2009 to March 2010.

Romer left the White House earlier this month.

Even though an audience with Geithner proved fleeting for some of these Democrats, at least they got one.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio vying to take over Pelosi's Speakership in November, showed up on Geithner's calendar just once -- in February 2009. A review of Geithner's calendar didn't yield any more entries.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, doesn't appear until January 2010.

Adamske cautioned that the calendar isn't a full recording of Geithner's time atop Treasury, and that conclusions shouldn't be drawn merely based on Geithner's daily log.

"Drawing conclusions just from this data probably doesn't tell the full story," Adamske said. "It should be taken as what it is."

This story has been updated. With research assistance by Will Alden and Nathaniel Cahners Hindman.

VIEW an interactive chart detailing the number of entries on Geithner's calendar for notables like Obama, Summers, Blankfein and Volcker. The calendar lists the total number of calendar entries per person per month, categorized by the group they best represent (White House, Congress, Wall Street, etc.). The sums include calls from these individuals, calls to them (both missed calls and answered calls), and in-person meetings. To take full advantage of this interactive feature, make sure to use the options in the left column to filter Geithner's visitors.


Shahien Nasiripour is the business reporter for the Huffington Post. You can send him an e-mail; bookmark his page; subscribe to his RSS feed; follow him on Twitter; friend him on Facebook; become a fan; and/or get e-mail alerts when he reports the latest news. He can be reached at 646-274-2455.

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