Aside from the (false) belief that he had a background working on Wall Street, perhaps the most widely held suspicion about Timothy Geithner is that he was headed to a Wall Street payday once he left the government. Instead, today he was named a new “distinguished fellow” at the Council on Foreign Relations.
What that amounts to exactly and what it pays I couldn’t say, in part because CFR currently doesn’t seem to have anyone with the title “distinguished fellow,” which I think we’re supposed to understand to be more senior than “senior fellow.” But Geithner will be in residence at CFR with an office, presumably doing some kind of writing. It’s striking to me that of all the “insider” accounts of Obama-era economic policy, none seem to have Geithner as a key source or present him as the real hero of the book. And yet he was clearly the most influential member of the economic policy team, so the Geithner’s-eye view of the first term is probably the closest we’ll get to the “real story” of why key decisions were made the way they were. So I’m hoping we’ll either see a Geithner book or close collaboration with a smart journalist that really presents Geithner’s view of events.