Expect any less from a guy whose boss rails against “fat cat bankers?”
(OTM) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said it was “inexplicable” that the financial services industry dislikes President Obama given all the administration had done to salvage the sector following the financial crisis.
Rather, he argued that the industry should look in a mirror when looking for a place to direct their frustration, instead of blaming the White House.
“People resent when they need help. It’s a natural thing,” he said at The Atlantic’s Washington Ideas Festival. “They resent the huge amount of public anger they’ve been subject to.”
He went on to rebut the claim from many on Wall Street that the administration played a leading role in stoking that anger, given comments the president had made in the past about “fat cat bankers.”
“They sometimes claim it was created by us, that anger, which I think is a deeply unfair judgment,” he added.
Rather, he argued the president made “commonsense observations” about the financial system, and the industry responded “as if they’re deep affronts to the dignity of their profession.”
“I don’t understand why they’re so sensitive, but they’re very wounded,” he added.
Asked about the Occupy Wall Street protests that have recently gained a groundswell of support from liberal lawmakers, Geithner said he sympathized with the “general sense among Americans of whether we’ve lost a sense of opportunity.”
“People do wonder whether we have the ability to do things that can help the average sense of opportunity in the country, and I definitely sympathize with that,” he said.