Geithner to Write Book on U.S. Response to Financial Crisis

Timothy F. Geithner, who ended his term as Treasury secretary in January, is planning to write a book about the U.S. response to the 2008 financial crisis, according to a person familiar with his plans.

Geithner, 51, will write about his decision-making role at the Treasury the last four years and as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2003 to 2009, said the person, who asked not to be identified because Geithner has yet to meet with publishers.

Geithner also is joining the Council on Foreign Relations this month as a full-time distinguished fellow in New York, where the organization is based, the group said today. He plans to participate in a conference for council members early next month, the person said.

“There will be very strong demand for Geithner’s book, probably surpassed only by an eventual Bernanke book,” said Tony Fratto, a White House and Treasury spokesman during the Administration of George W. Bush, referring to Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke. “Tim really was at the center of every important debate and decision involving the financial crisis and economic policy making in the Obama administration.”

Geithner “will have an opportunity to be an influential voice on policy debates for a very long time,” said Fratto, a partner at Hamilton Place Strategies, a policy and communications consulting firm in Washington.

Oversaw Bailouts

As President Barack Obama’s Treasury secretary starting in January 2009, Geithner oversaw bailouts of companies including Citigroup Inc. and General Motors Co., steered the financial-rules revamp and negotiated with congressional leaders on the budget and debt limit. Obama has nominated Jack Lew, his former chief of staff, to replace Geithner.

In 2008, then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Bernanke and Geithner as New York Fed chief initiated the bailouts of Wall Street banks and insurer American International Group Inc. and allowed Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. to go into bankruptcy. At the Treasury, Geithner was the administration’s point man on the Dodd-Frank law aimed at preventing another financial meltdown.

During the U.S. and the European debt crisis starting in 2009, Geithner pushed for measures aimed at preventing failing banks from infecting other parts of the economy. That emphasis on stopping contagion dates to his work as a Treasury international affairs official during the Asian crisis that spread from Thailand in 1997.

Paulson Memoir

Geithner’s book will follow Paulson’s 2010 crisis memoir, “On the Brink.” Paulson is now the chairman of the Paulson Institute, a non-partisan group at the University of Chicago that promotes sustainable growth and focuses on the U.S. and China.

Paul O’Neill, Treasury secretary in 2001-2002, cooperated with the writing of a book about the Bush administration after being ousted by the president. Robert Rubin, Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, also wrote a book after leaving office.

Geithner is being represented by Robert Barnett, a partner at Williams & Connolly LLP who has worked for Clinton, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and country singer Shania Twain.

The Council on Foreign Relations is a non-partisan organization providing analysis on policy issues including defense, the environment, economics and terrorism. It’s headed by Rubin and Carla Hills, chairman and chief executive officer of Hills & Co.

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