May 27, 2014

Timothy Geithner

Harvard Book Store welcomes TIMOTHY F. GEITHNER, the seventy-fifth secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and Harvard Kennedy School's David Gergen for a discussion of Secretary Geithner's first book, Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises.


In Stress TestSecretary Geithner provides an illuminating, candid, and definitive account of the unprecedented effort to save the U.S. economy from collapse in the wake of the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression. Drawing upon his unique perspective and experience, Geithner takes readers behind the scenes during the darkest moments of the crisis. Swift, decisive, and creative action was required to avert disaster, but policy makers faced a fog of uncertainty, with no good options and the risk of catastrophic outcomes.

Stress Test explains in accessible and forthright terms the most controversial and politically unpalatable decisions of Geithner’s tenures at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and at the Treasury, including the harrowing weekend Lehman Brothers went bankrupt; the searing crucible of the AIG bonuses controversy; the development of his widely criticized but ultimately successful plan in early 2009 to end the crisis; the bracing fight for the most sweeping financial reforms in seventy years; and the lingering aftershocks of the crisis, including high unemployment, the fiscal battles, and Europe’s repeated flirtations with the economic abyss.

Geithner also shares his personal and professional recollections of key players such as President Obama, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson, and Larry Summers, among others, and examines the tensions between politics and policy that have come to dominate discussions of the U.S. economy.

In Stress Test, Geithner draws upon nearly three decades of public service to share lessons in the craft of crisis response to help guide policy makers and the public alike during future financial crises.

Stress Test is an absolutely compelling account of the financial crisis, written in a clear, graceful style with striking honesty at every step along the way. Timothy Geithner brings a complex story to life with telling anecdotes and personal reflections.” —Doris Kearns Goodwin

About Author(s)

Timothy F. Geithner was the seventy-fifth secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and previously served as president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He wrote this book as a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

David Gergen is a professor of public service and Director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. He has served as a White House adviser to four U.S. presidents of both parties: Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. He wrote about those experiences in his New York Times best-seller,Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton. He is a member of the Washington D.C. Bar and the Council on Foreign Relations, and holds 24 honorary degrees. Since the mid-1980s he has also followed a career in journalism, and currently appears frequently on CNN as a senior political analyst.