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Last week’s GlobeSt.com Quick Poll asked readers if Timothy Geithner’s appointment as Treasury Secretary is all smoke and mirrors or a sure sign of action, with a total of 46% affirming the former and 54% throwing their weight behind the latter. Andrew Stewart, CEO of David Cronheim Mortgage Corp. in New Jersey, talks to GlobeSt.com about the current New York Federal Reserve president’s new post.

“This is one of those strange times in economic history where perception is more important than the actions taken, namely because so much of what has happened in terms of the meltdown of institutions is all about perception. I’m not saying the institutions don’t have losses, but they’ve been exacerbated by fear, which has further depressed all sorts of assets. So if Geithner can create any sense of stability due to the perception of his appointment, then he’s way ahead of the game.

“Geithner is clearly qualified and he got a very good response initially from the stock market. We don’t yet know what kind of inflation hawk he is. If he’s an inflation hawk in the Paul Volcker mode, he’s going to be very careful about opening up the treasury and spending a tremendous amount for fear of creating future inflation. From my standpoint, it seems like you need to ignore inflationary pressures and budget deficits right now in order to create stimulus.

“We have seen significant policy changes from Paulson who has done a solid job under extraordinary circumstances. The fact that we haven’t had a complete financial system collapse already means he’s done well. But Geithner will be given a very difficult set of circumstances to work with.

“At least right now it appears that he has the confidence of many investors worldwide. I’m sure that the honeymoon period will wear off at which point Geithner’s actions will take center stage. If he’s willing to follow the path that appears to be the modus operandi, which is to print enough money to create real liquidity in the marketplace thereby preventing this downturn from becoming a prolonged problem, then he’ll do fine.”

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