Perspectives Abroad

politics, culture, language – south east asia

Tim Geithner and the Legacy Assets

Tim Geithner. I don’t know if that guy is doing his job or not, but he sure has a gift for language – “legacy assets.” That’s what we are supposed to call all the bad credit out there that he’s rallying investors to buy. It’s brilliant actually. Legacy Assets. It’s something you can leave your kids in a will, like the opposite of inheritance. “To Jimmy I leave the keys to the country and all my legacy assets.”


“Legacy assets” is the linguistic equivalent of “extraordinary rendition,” only for the post-financial meltdown era. In fact, some “extraordinary asset rendition” might not be a bad idea. Let’s put all those bad assets in orange jumper suits and blacked-out goggles and sell them to some oil-rich despot with no morals. Let them water-board the crap out of them, get them all cleaned-up, maybe even turn them into good assets. Reformed assets. Or even a born-again asset. I’d take a born-again asset over a legacy asset any day. Then maybe we can even borrow those reformed assets back and pay for all this shit. 


But then the guy is over worked. Let’s face it. At the end of the Bush term, the Treasury Department website had a staff listing of over 150 people, right now it lists only one – Tim Geithner. I think he probably needs a “stress test.”


1 Comment»

  dad wrote @

Brilliant- “legacy Assets” is a classic. Much better than “axis of evil” or any of the other catch phrases that the speech writers get paid the big bucks to come up with.How did several trillion dollars of bad debt get to be an asset?? The Japanese compounded their problem for a decade by refusing to acknowledge that their banks had bad debt and although we chide them in hindsight for that approach they never went so far as to try to characterize the isue in benign terms.
Water boarding legacy asets should be an idea that everyone can get behind (CIA and Treasury)-except that Obama has unfortunately come out against torture.

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