Mitchell Reports | January 25, 2013
>> in the weeks leading up to treasury secretary tim geithner 's final day today. what's the score card on geithner 's tenure? the unemployment rate is where he started when he took on the job. it's the same as today. 7.8%. the economy has experienced some major twists and turns. joining me now pulitzer prize economic writer. what is the basic feeling about tim geithner who came in during such a perilous time? how has he done?
>> well, you'll get opinions of sort of across the spectrum. he obviously has big republican critics. he also has a lot of critics among liberals. i think when you sort of look at the evidence, i would say a few major things. one, i think he deserves substantial credit for having overseen much of and been one of the central people involved in breaking the back of this financial crisis . if you look at indicate orz, it looked like the great depression, and it didn't end up nearly as bad as the great depression. we didn't get unemployment anywhere near 25%, and geithner and bernanke and a few other people were really the central people involved with that. he made mistakes along the way with that. i think he and the whole administration underestimated how bad housing was as part of this. on the whole, you have to say that they succeeded more than they failed on that, and that one of the easiest ways to see that is that the american economy is healthier than the economies of a lot of other rich countries also trying to survive from the crisis. i think the big outstanding question about him involves financial regulation . by any measure, we have a financial sector that has grown very large and that appears to have helped caused this crisis. with the dodd frank bill that he was central to putting together, had they really done something that made future crisis less likely, i think it's hard to know the answer to that question, and i don't think it's an answer we'll know for a number of years. of course, the friday feels that dodd frank has hurt more than it's helped. now we've had ran appeals court ruling that questions the whole consumer protection board and the aability to be appointed as a recess appointment. a lot of the regulatory stuff still has to play out. overall, what is your take on the economy? are we recovering because housing is coming back? is this potentially another bubble?
>> well, i'm really --
>> this time a stock market bubble .
>> -- recovering because it looked like we were recovering in 2010 , and then we weren't. in 2011 , and thn we weren't. in 2012 , and we weren't quite. one of the main mcmorgan stanley takes that the administration made and geithner is part of this, was being too optimistic about the state of the economy at several points. there's debate about how much they could have done about that. i think there were things they could have done. they would argue that, no, there wasn't anything they could have done because of congressional opposition. we made the mistake of being too opt mythsic again and again over the last few years. having said that, i think the odds are better than 50% that we are, many of the, now in the early stages of a recovery. we have a long way to go for the economy to be anywhere near healthy. as your questions suggested, i don't think the stock market is any huge bubble, but we didn't get to the end of this crisis with stocks being cheap from a historical perspective. it's not like we should assume we're at the cusp much a great stock market boom .