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Don’t Count on Us

Posted on Jun 5, 2010
Flickr / U.S. Treasury Department

Treasury Secretary Geithner speaks at a G20 meeting earlier this year.

In the face of the stereotypical image of Americans as free-spending consumers, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has told his international finance colleagues that G20 countries should not rely on American buyers for their products as they travel the road to economy recovery.

Recessionary pressures have boosted saving rates in the U.S. and caused Americans to tighten up on spending. —JCL

The New York Times:

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner of the United States told his counterparts at a Group of 20 conference on Saturday that they should not rely on spending by American consumers for their economic recovery, and he urged Japan, Germany and China to boost domestic demand.

“We discussed how the ongoing shift toward higher saving in the United States needs to be complemented by stronger domestic demand growth in Japan and in the European surplus countries, and by sustained growth in private demand, together with a more flexible exchange rate policy in China,” Mr. Geithner said.

He spoke at the end of a two-day conference of finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s 20 leading economies. The officials gathered in this port city in southern South Korea to discuss ways of shoring up a fragile global recovery in the face of the euro zone debt crisis.

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Peter Knopfler's avatar

By Peter Knopfler, June 6, 2010 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

Geithner just got back from China with Hillory, to tell the Peoples Republic of China that the American Republic cannot be counted upon and to rid yourself of American monetary system, economic divorce, Usa treasury has already helped E.U. and has no more money to play with! this the Blue print to extreme unemployment, more jobs, 38,000 and more will go oversea. With new travel rules, body scanning etc, less people traveling more control of information, Control of the Net, and carefully monitor even tweeting will be censored. Look at this G-20 in TORONTO WHERE I went to high school, the city, or province is spending 1.1 billion Canadian tax payers money for 16 HOUR CONFERENCE. Lets see 1,1 billion divided by 16 hours WOWEEE! Canadians are cheap they will not like this YET Vancouver for this oympics, also spent 1.3 billion on security, and now the taxpayer has to pay for all of it. See you in the Streets!

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Peter Knopfler's avatar

By Peter Knopfler, June 6, 2010 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

Well Well my friends We are on the road to ONE WORLD GOV`t, Here is how this works, A global snapshot of my mind! America moving rapidly to a double dip recession, unemployment increase, more students coming out of college with no job, nothing to do but drink and collect in the street. EDL,English Defense league is growing rapidly more young men no work, but drink and collect, in the street. Greece already in the street, Italy almost Spain Portugal looks bad Iceland banking is an iceberg. The Korean incident, Turkey vs Israel, Japan changing Primeminister because of American bases. Pedator drones killing, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Killing Mothers and children victims to Drones. South America, Hugo, Evo, now Honduras, Peru. AND, 20,000 dead on the Mex-American border. USA military guarding the opium fields and getting money so Alqueda gets less. More new USA military bases in Columbia, guarding the coke fields and more money, to face HUGO AND R.CASTRO, WOW! we are busy setting up for something big and the World cup soccer is the greatest public distraction, while the Bilderberg Group has their meeting in The Dolce hotel Spain, and Bilderberg will take the IMF and make it the Global Reserve like federal reserve only for the entire show. Breakdown the middle class, take american guns away, United Nations small arms treaty that OBAMA signed, 630 million guns to collect, Food will be the lever, guns for food programs, because no more public assistance, forced labor, millions relocated. Bilderbergs where Bill Gates will speak about Population control, yes folks, Gates the gate to Hell, and buddy Ted turn the screws Turner are stauch supporters of population control, 6.7 billion to 1 billion slaves, I wonder who is first to go and how fast the rest will go following after! Recent past history tells that when economy drops and unemployment hits 50%, economic military draft, off to war. Bilderberg group gave the green light to Obama to attack Iran`s nukes with Israel as a back up! From there will start a massive movement, and clash of civilization will result, WW3 expects to get rid of 4 billion people. Then ONE WORLD GOV`T, is a reality, Gerorge Orwell-Eric Blair (his real name)has had clear vision, Adulous Huxley Brave New World, and who remembers Farenhuit 451. The picture gets bigger doesn`t. The only thing that can stop are path to WW 3, is MOTHER NATURE, yes folks nature with Sunspot Maximum around the corner, natural disasters will keep us from killing ourselves with THE BOMB: Oil spills into a Hurricane and mud on everyone`s face. Lets face it, humanity is dying on the vine and we blog! I could go on and explain every little detail to this Earthly Demise, My soul has a hole, Jesus could`t find me! Or once I was lost, now I`m just Blind.Happy days are HER NOW!

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, June 6, 2010 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

the worm, June 6 at 12:06 pm,

It’s not just about consumption: it’s about mercantile consumption of commodities produced by cheap Asian labor and funneled into the U.S. Economy as a financialized “Borrow and Spend Economy” that is reliant upon debt to maintain consumption and grow the GNP with financial transactions of a “false economy”, rather than actual transactions of a real domestic manufacturing and agricultural economy; this is the legacy of Conservative Right-Wing EXTREMIST Governance from the time of Goldwater through Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II and Corporate Democratic Party cooperation with the Conservative Right-Wing Republican EXTREMIST Agenda.

It is false logic and reasoning to conclude that the whole of the effects of the Reagan/Gingrich Republican Revolution can be reversed in one Democratic Party Administration.

It is also false logic and reasoning to conclude that the Republican Party/Democratic Party political duopoly that created the problem is going to do anything other than pander to their own expedient self interests of political duopoly.

If there is going to be a solution, it is going to have to come from the 70% majority Common Population,  the American Populace, Back Street America, rising up in awareness of their own best interest and forcing their own political representation and inclusion into the making and enforcing of legislated law and order that provides a solution that addresses the best interests of the American Populace.

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By the worm, June 6, 2010 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

Why cant American consumers be ‘relied on’ to consume?  Since Geithner is the
primary architect of the current situation, he ought to know.

Here’s what happened and why American consumers cant be ‘relied on’:

??1 The financial industry lost the money we invested / entrusted to them.??

2 Tax money that we have or will pay was used by the federal government to
bail out the financial industry.
3 One year later, the financial industry declared record profits.??

4 That same year, American consumers and the American government are
hobbled by unprecedented debt.

Geithner, Bernanke, Summers and Obama were the instigators and cheerleaders
for the fiasco that put American consumers and the American government in
the sh*tt*r.

And their policies are the primary ‘cause’ of why American consumers cannot
be ‘relied on’.

?The simple fact is that private sector debt has been shifted to the public; it is
now ‘sovereign debt’. The private sector is no longer liable for it; you and I are
liable for it.

One result is that our elected officials, having ‘saved’ the financial sector by
putting us all in debt, now refuse to come to the aid of the middle class.

In the face of the highest unemployment in decades, Obama et al have hobbled
the nation with private (corporate) debt and cannot or will not put people to
work. Hence, American consumers cannot be ‘relied on’.

When there was a ‘financial crisis’, all rules were bent and all concerns about
‘debt’ were swept aside.

When there is an ‘employment crisis’, all concerns are about ‘the deficit’. 

If the deficit is such a problem, why dont taxes go up on the wealthy, why dont
corporations pay their fair share, why are off shore tax havens tolerated, why is
‘carried interest’ taxed at a lower rate for those who make $4 billion a year,
why is the military still 56% of discretionary spending while schools and
students languish, the unemployed remain without jobs, and the nation’s
greatest asset - its workers - remain idle?

Oh, did I mention, last year, the financial industry recorded record profits. The
financial industry can be ‘relied on’, because they’ve got your money, my
money and unlimited funding from Geithner, Bernanke, Summers and Obama.

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Fat Freddy's avatar

By Fat Freddy, June 6, 2010 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

Tim Geithner is a toxic asset. He certainly should know what toxic assets are. He floated how many billions of dollars in NY Fed loans on Bear’s and AIG’s toxic assets in Maiden Lane I, II, and III?

            Toxic Timmy

Baby, can’t you see
I’m calling
A guy like you
Should wear a warning
It’s dangerous
I’m fallin’

There’s no escape
I can’t wait
I need a hit
Baby, give me it
You’re dangerous
I’m lovin’ it

Too high
Can’t come down
Losing my head
Spinning ‘round and ‘round
Do you feel me now

With a taste of your lips
I’m on a ride
You’re toxic I’m slipping under
With a taste of a poison paradise
I’m addicted to you
Don’t you know that you’re toxic
And I love what you do
Don’t you know that you’re toxic

It’s getting late
To give you up
I took a sip
From my devil’s cup
It’s taking over me

Too high
Can’t come down
It’s in the air
And it’s all around
Can you feel me now



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Fat Freddy's avatar

By Fat Freddy, June 6, 2010 at 6:14 am Link to this comment

Maxed out credit cards, overleveraged 410(k)s, and 2nd,3rd, and even 4th home equity loans. Americans aren’t “saving”, they are replenishing. Not that that’s a bad thing, but let’s call it what it is, OK, Timmy?

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Fat Freddy's avatar

By Fat Freddy, June 6, 2010 at 6:05 am Link to this comment


the savings rate Geithner refers to is a real statistic, not an ideological opinion.

Unfortunately, we will never know, because the Federal Reserve stopped releasing M3 figures in 2006, you know, about the time the Federal Reserve started paying interest to banks on their reserves. Personally, I don’t have a whole lot of faith in any of the numbers the Fed and Treasury release, anymore. They remind me of the crop reports from the old Soviet Union in the 80s. They’re just blowing a lot of smoke up everybody’s asses. That’s why we have global warming.

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By samosamo, June 5, 2010 at 11:51 pm Link to this comment


Why not just keep printing money? I mean if we are stupid
enough to not repeal the federal reserve act of 1913 and keep
the fed res, then nothing really changes and the fed just keeps
printing money so that the facsimile of an economy dopes
people into thinking a ‘recession’ is in recovery but never mind
the interest(debt) on every dollar the fed prints for the u.s.
somehow the taxpayer will cough that up.

I wonder how many people are actual trillionaires who are co-
owners of the central banks.

Does this mean wal-mart will be reducing its inventories?

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, June 5, 2010 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment

So, does this mean consumerism is coming to an end, or what?

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, June 5, 2010 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

Unfortunately, Anderson and hackerkat, the savings rate Geithner refers to is a real statistic, not an ideological opinion. You may quibble with the why’s and wherefore’s but it’s real.

And, you should be happy! Americans are backing off of their profligate ways and spending less on useless stuff just for the sake of acquiring useless stuff. I call it “poverty chic”.

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By hackerkat, June 5, 2010 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

Well said G. Anderson!

Not only is it less embarrassing but it is less likely to scare investors away if they think we are saving instead of broke.

And you are right about the second crash. Unfortunately there might not be anything left to reform.

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, June 5, 2010 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

I’m not sure there is actually a shift toward higher savings in the USA. I think that it’s more likely that people just don’t have the money to spend and are making every penny count.

I imagine, that saying were shifting to a higher savings rate is less embarasing than saying, the USA is flat broke, and our creditors have borrowed up to their eyeballs on what we owe them.

Maybe during the next crash we can get around to real bank reform, real credit reform, and then there are those derivatives.

There are some people who just have to learn twice the hard way, I have a feeling thats us.

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