They needed an alternative and found it in a previously considered initiative to pair private investments and public loans to try to buy the risky assets and take them off the books of banks. There was one problem: They didn't have enough time to work out many details or consult with others before the plan was supposed to be unveiled.
The sharp course change was one of the key reasons why Geithner's plan -- his first major policy initiative as Treasury secretary -- landed with such a thud last Tuesday. Lawmakers, investors and analysts expressed dismay over the lack of specifics. Markets tanked, and fresh doubts arose about the hand now steering the country's financial policy.
A quick aside, the mindset of theonly man for the job is rather fatalist and short sighted thinking in the larger scheme of things.
Historiclly, Secretaries in the White House Cabinet do not last long. Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush went through 3 Secretaries in the duration of their terms. Obama should be lining up who he wants to succeed Geithner soon.
Back to the only man for the job. In a country of over 300 million people, the best man for the job is the one who cheated on his taxes continuously. I'm sure that Obama will be able to find someone who ran a busload of widows and orphans off the road with the seat is ready to turn over. Anyway, back on point.
Jenifer Rubin has this to say about it all:
So to review: they raised expectations, they had insufficient personnel to do the real work and too many uber-cooks stirring the pot, they didn’t get input they needed and they went ahead with the roll out anyway. Oh, and Geithner had really been thinking about this for nineteen months. And this is what he came up with.
You have to question the executive skills of both the Treasury Secretary and his boss (who is ultimately responsible for Geithner and the disastrous roll out). And next time someone explains that he has been too sloppy, inattentive and distracted to abide by simple rules in governing his own life, it’s probably a clue we shouldn’t put him in a job with huge responsibilities demanding astute judgment and keen executive leadership skills.