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A lot riding on the stimulus package

Business Times - 29 Jan 2009


A lot riding on the stimulus package

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

ON THE same day that Timothy Geithner was sworn in as the new US Treasury Secretary, several major US corporations, including Home Depot and Caterpillar, announced that they would be cutting more than 75,000 jobs in the US and worldwide. The news about the layoffs, not to mention the never-ending reports about crumbling banks and home foreclosures, served as a depressing backdrop for the start of the workweek for the man who was about the fill the shoes that had been worn for the first time by one of America's Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton.

The bets are that Mr Geithner will either emerge as one of the most important Treasury secretaries in US history - if he succeeds in re-energising the stagnant financial markets and presides over an economic recovery - or that he will be recalled as America's top economic official who ended up going under, defeated and doomed, toge…