Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has a new book out, in which he gives his take on the most recent financial collapse. So on last night's episode of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart sat him down to go over a few things.
Geithner has long been criticized bailing out the big banks during the financial crisis, and Stewart wasted no time getting right into it: "It seems what [Stress Test] seeks to do is clarify a perception difference, the perception on your end and maybe the government's end that the bailouts worked and were the right thing to do, and the perception on let's say the other end of people who thought that it was the wrong thing to do and didn't work ... This is like an optical illusion, where one person looks at it and they see a pretty girl and then you flip it and the other person looks at it and sees America getting fucked."
"There's only one reality," Geithner said. "The only option, the only responsible, just, moral thing to do in that context, is to protect people from the risk of mass unemployment, which is what happens in financial panics unless governments step in and try to make sure they keep the lights on." In other words, Geithner believes that if the government didn't bailout the big banks, the financial crisis would've been much worse.