U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said July 31 that California can count on manufacturing, high tech and agriculture to fuel recovery even as it grapples with housing aftershocks.
Geithner, who has come under recent congressional scrutiny for what he knew about Libor rate-fixing while head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New of York, made the remarks during an hour-long talk in Los Angeles.
Speaking at an event moderated by Los Angeles World Affairs Council CEO Terry McCarthy, Geithner called on Congress to take more action on mortgage relief — including the potential adjustment of the principal balances on deeply underwater homes. “Housing is holding back growth,” he said.
Geithner said California’s tech and manufacturing sectors, as well as farming and energy, are key.
“California is a mix of what’s encouraging and what’s tough” about the U.S. economy.
He said the entire U.S. economy remains at risk because of Europe’s inability to deal with its debt crisis. “It’s not just exports,” he said. “The dollar rises, stock markets fall and confidence gets eroded.”
Geithner defended the Obama administration’s position on extending Bush-era tax cuts for all but the top 2 percent of tax filers and also backed passage of a series of incentives for small-business job creation.