Former federal banking regulator William Black, who certainly hasn't stepped back from his disdain for the Obama administration's financial regulatory team, has once again singled out Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner for particular opprobrium in an interview with Newsweek.
Black, an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is perhaps best known for his work during the savings and loan crisis of the 1990s. Black points out that investigations into the S&L crisis resulted in over 1,000 convictions, while the current financial crisis -- which is much larger in scope -- has yet to yield a single conviction. (We're not counting Bernie Madoff or Marc Dreier)
"Some of the things Bernanke did were very bad, but he is in sharp contrast to Geithner who has been wrong about everything in his career. When Geithner was once answering a question in response to Ron Paul, he said, 'I've never been a regulator.' He was then the President of the New York Federal Reserve, and he purports that he was never a regulator? That is a demonstration of what is wrong with the Federal Reserve banks if the head of the unit doesn't think he's a regulator. He's a disaster."
Not surprisingly, this isn't the first time Black's taken a shot at Geithner, who he's targeted for not taking a prosecutorial role in ferreting out the causes of the financial crisis. Earlier this year, he said that Geithner "has a track record of failure everywhere he's gone."
In an interview with Bill Moyers earlier this year, Black went even farther when the subject of the size of the bailouts came up. He actually accused Geithner of covering up the health of the financial system:
"Geithner is charging, is covering up. Just like Paulson did before him. Geithner is publicly saying that it's going to take $2 trillion -- a trillion is a thousand billion -- $2 trillion taxpayer dollars to deal with this problem. But they're allowing all the banks to report that they're not only solvent, but fully capitalized. Both statements can't be true. It can't be that they need $2 trillion, because they have masses losses, and that they're fine."
Read the entire interview at Newsweek.com.