As president of the New York Federal Reserve before and during the financial crisis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met repeatedly with Barclays officials, according to documents released by the bank and the New York Fed.
Though the subject of those discussions is unknown, they came at a time when Barclays was also talking to New York Fed officials about problems with an interest rate known as Libor, some five years before the bank agreed to pay $450 million to settle charges that it manipulated that interest rate.
The meetings raise questions about just how much Geithner, now the U.S. Treasury secretary, knew about the alleged manipulation of Libor, a critical interest rate that affects borrowing costs throughout the economy — questions he’ll have to answer at a Senate hearing later this month. They could also renew criticisms of Geithner as being too chummy with the banking sector he was charged with regulating in his role at the Fed.
According to The Huffington Post’s review of Geithner’s calendar during his time at the New York Fed, originally obtained by The New York Times, Geithner repeatedly spoke from April 2007 to October 2008 with senior executives at Barclays, including at an Oct. 10, 2008, morning meeting with Bob Diamond, the former Barclays CEO, who stepped down last week amid the ballooning Libor controversy.