Washington – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner held a press conference today to announce a need on the part of the Treasury for “people good with numbers, figures, economics – things of that nature.” In an ongoing attempt to fill vacancies in the department, Mr. Geithner sought a public forum to announce a widening of the search for qualified candidates. Mr. Geithner said filling the vacancies is obviously vital at this moment of extreme national economic distress.
“We face what is widely considered to be the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, and yet we find a shortage of qualified applicants to fill vital positions within the Treasury,” Mr. Geithner said in prepared remarks. “So I am asking you, the American people, to ask around, and see if you know someone who knows someone who is really good with numbers and calculations.”
Mr. Geithner has himself faced harsh criticism of late over his knowledge of planned bonuses to be paid to AIG executives. He has also seen multiple nominees for positions within the Treasury remove their names from contention. As for new nominees, the Secretary said they have proven less than ideal.
“One nominee who was under consideration was all but perfect, except for one small problem,” Mr. Geithner said. “He thought money grew on trees. I don’t say that metaphorically. He actually thought money grew on trees. We walked out on the South Lawn [of the White House] and he said, ‘So, Tim. Where’s the money tree?’ I said, ‘Yeah. Good one.’ He said, ‘No, really. Is it over here, near these shrubs?’ I only thank God we discovered this before bringing him on board.”
As for himself, Mr. Geithner admits he is “pretty good with numbers.” “But having just me there isn’t enough,” he said. “I can only do so much. So I implore you today to seek out people in your family, your social groups, your neighborhoods. Maybe the person you know who always figures out who owes what at the restaurant, when you’re splitting the bill. Or the person who tells you how much the tip should be. Ask them if they’re currently gainfully employed, and if not, let them know that there are openings at the Treasury Department, and that their country needs them.”