Geithner: Much Lower Risk of Double-Dip Recession Now Than Any Other Time In Last Year

We interviewed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner today for an exclusive interview to air on THIS WEEK Sunday.

We talked about the new unemployment numbers; the shortcomings of various administration proposals to help shore up jobs and the housing crisis; the out of control national debt; and whether he assumes any responsibility for the massive distrust in government – what President Obama referred to in his State of the Union address as a “deficit of trust.”

The economy remains in dire straits, with news today that the nation's employers reduced their payrolls by 20,000 last month. Together with baseline revisions indicating that 8.4 million jobs have been lost during the recession so far – and not 7 million, as previously thought – the jobs numbers have caused fresh anxiety.

This week at the World Economic Forum in Davos there was much talk about whether we’re in the midst of a double-dip recession.

George Soros, for instance, warned “there is a need for additional stimulus. The political resistance to it increases the chances of a double dip in the economy in 2011 and after that."

So I asked Geithner about the possibility of a double-dip recession.

“”We have much, much lower risk of that today than at any time over the last 12 months or so,” Geithner said. “Again just think of where we are. We are in an economy that was growing at the rate of almost 6 percent of GDP in the fourth quarter of last year. The most rapid rate in six years. So we are beginning the process of healing.”

Geithner went on to say that “we have the capacity -- the government -- to try to make sure we are reinforcing that process. And we help guide this economy back to the point where we're not just growing again, but we've seen growth translate into jobs. And that we're reaching the lives of all Americans.”

You can watch some of our interview on World News with Diane Sawyer and then of course on Sunday on THIS WEEK!

- jpt

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