Treasury Scheme

Henry Thompson

 

The Secretary of Treasury is responsible for paying the bills of the US government.  The Secretary can borrow by printing and selling US bonds as promises of future payment from tax revenues.  Ex-Secretary banking executive Tim Geithner increased Treasury borrowing with a leveraged financial scheme.  The Treasury bought bonds from private investors who could then lend other investors at higher interest rate.  US Treasury backed insurance guaranteed at most 5% loss.  US taxpayers provided default insurance to preferred parties in the finance industry.  Moral hazard occurs since riskier firms are able to borrow.  Investors could stage defaults to collect the taxpayer backed insurance.  The Geithner scheme was a leverage scam.