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Treasury Sec. Geithner Jokes About Getting Fired During CNBC Interview


"I'm hoping."

President Barack Obama smiles as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner speaks about executive compensation, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009, in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was interviewed by CNBC host Jim Cramer at the Alpha Investor conference Wednesday morning. He reassured that Europe won't allow a Lehman Brothers-like collapse, urged U.S. lawmakers to move quickly in passing President Obama's job plan, and even joked about getting fired at his current post.

After Cramer asked Geithner if Geithner feared he could be fired, Geithner responded, "I'm hoping:"

But Geithner's recent job performance may not be a laughing matter.

Since the first S&P U.S. credit downgrade in the history of the ratings, and a still ailing economy, Geithner's performance has been highly scrutinized by some in the media and among lawmakers. Reports had circulated in the early summer that Geithner intended to step down as treasury secretary after the debt-limit debate had come to an end, but announced in August that he would stay on at the President's request following the downgrade.

In addition to the joke during Wednesday's interview, Geithner told Cramer that a unified commitment is necessary to solve the financial problems that still threaten the domestic and global economy, and the issues moving forward. San Francisco Chronicle:

"He said that governments need to be open, honest with investors, and provide incentives to provide funding, and use overwhelming force. Governments need to put politics aside.

The U.S. has weaker growth than we thought and hopes because the economy is still healing. We have faced a lot of adverse shocks, including Japan, high oil prices, Europe, and a terribly damaging political dysfunction."

Geithner was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York during the U.S. government’s bailouts of Wall Street banks in 2008, and is on his way to Europe next week to speak with eurozone finance ministers in Poland.  Geithner will teleconference with leaders of Greece, France and Germany on Wednesday evening.

Geithner said to Cramer Wednesday that Europe's leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, know they've "been behind the curve" and have the financial capacity "to do what it takes to hold this thing together."

(H/T: Business Insider)

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