Move along, nuthin' to see here

U.S. Treasury Secretary says American banks are behaving themselves, even as they increase wages and risk

Just a few months ago, much of the U.S. banking and investment sector was teetering on the brink of collapse and soaking up billions of dollars in government aid to prevent an economic catastrophe. In exchange for the aid, U.S. banks had drastically cut wages and reduced their exposure to risk. However, now that profits are up again—and, in Goldman Sachs’s case, at record levels—banks are ramping up both pay and risk, prompting questions as to whether they’re simply returning to the bad habits that brought about the credit crisis in the first place. Not so, says Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “The fact that the core parts of the U.S. financial system look like they’re profitable is overwhelmingly good,” says Geithner. He also tells the paper the Obama administration hasn’t wavered from its view that a stronger regulatory framework is essential to avoiding a repeat of the crisis that brought the U.S. economy to its knees, saying he expects the changes, which were introduced last June, to be made law when Congress returns this September.

Wall Street Journal

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.