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Banks, Bailouts & the Obama Plan
President Barack Obama, accompanied by, from left, Economic Adviser Christina Romer, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and Economic Adviser Lawrence Summers, walks from the Oval Office to the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 18, 2009, to make remarks on AIG, prior to departing for a trip to California. (AP)

President Barack Obama, accompanied by, from left, Economic Adviser Christina Romer, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and Economic Adviser Lawrence Summers, walks from the Oval Office to the South Lawn of the White House on March 18, 2009, to make remarks on AIG. (AP)

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is standing up today with his latest announcement on how to mop up the ocean of bad debt, toxic assets, at the heart of the current financial crisis.

He’s standing up, of course, into a storm. Geithner says he needs private capital in with public billions to make right the banking and finance mess. Critics are already saying he would reward and restart the same game that got us into this mess. Supporters say, let’s give it a chance.

We’re in uncharted territory here.

This hour, On Point: We’re unpacking the Obama plan for America’s bad banks.

You can join the conversation. Is this it? The way out of the mess in American banking and finance?

Guests:

We’re joined in our studio by Robert Kuttner, co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, distinguished senior fellow at the think tank Demos, and a columnist for The Boston Globe. He’s author of “Obama’s Challenge: America’s Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency” and “The Squandering of America: How the Failure of Our Politics Undermines Our Prosperity.”

Also with us in our studio is Jeffrey Frankel, professor of capital formation and growth at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and director of the program in international finance and macroeconomics at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He served on the Council of Economic Advisers in the Clinton Administration.

And joining us from Park City, Utah, is Steven Kaplan, professor of entrepreneurship and finance at the University of Chicago Business School.

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