Geithner, Summers in Good Cop/Bad Cop Routine

It may be award season in Hollywood, but in Washington one duo is reprising their starring roles with just as much fanfare.

It may be award season in Hollywood, but in Washington one duo is reprising their starring roles with just as much fanfare. In this plot, however, it's not a small statue but the economy that is at stake. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council head Larry Summers, who first worked together during the Clinton administration, are now trying to fight a formidable recession and rescue a quickly collapsing financial sector. But their vastly differing styles may lend a twist to how the story unfolds.

Back in the 1990's Summers headed Treasury and he inherited Geithner from the previous Bush administration. By then Summers had earned a reputation for being whip smart and letting everyone know about it. His ideas about policy mirror his personality -- the bigger the better. Geithner, meanwhile, is a lot more restrained in both respects. He's known for being a listener and an implementer, perhaps balancing Summers' penchant for using overwhelming force to solve economic problems.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/hwgJ7osrMtUWhk5koeVme7-200-80.png

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription


Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter