Former US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has come in for plenty of criticism over his role before, during and after the giant US bail-out that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Some say he didn’t do enough to keep the banks in hand; others that he let them get away with it too easily; others that he was just too damn good-looking to be a central banker.
Or was that Mark Carney?
No matter. The important thing is: there’ll be none of that nasty stuff here in First Round’s house. Because whatever mistakes Tim has made in the past, the fact is that he’s one of us now. He’s a proper paid-up private equity guy, with the Warburg Pincus business cards to prove it (well, one assumes; one hasn’t actually seen them).
And he’s likely to need our support in the coming weeks. After an extended period out of the spotlight (which First Round fondly imagines he’s spent in the Warburg Pincus canteen reading John Grisham novels, but which he’s probably spent founding a not-for-profit think tank and becoming fluent in Mandarin), Geithner has propelled himself back into said spotlight by publishing a book called ‘Stress Tests’, which sounds like it’s part memoir, part once-in-a-generation-financial-crisis-how-to (not a crowded literary genre).
First Round hasn’t read the book, as such, because it’s full of long words and people it doesn’t know. But if the Economist review is anything to go by, it sounds like a stonker. By way of example: Tim met Barbara Streisand, who told him he must be OK because he was a Brooklyn Jew. Apparently he writes that this was “kind of her… except that I’m not Jewish and I’ve never lived in Brooklyn”.
Marvellous. And more to the point: if he’s good enough for La Streisand, he’s good enough for us. Welcome to the club, Tim!