WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told the House Oversight Panel that an economic recovery needed more time, but an outright meltdown had been avoided.
"We still have a long way to go before true recovery takes hold," Geithner told the congressional panel charged with monitoring the nation's recovery effort.
"September 2009 is a far cry from the crippling fear and panic of September 2008, Geithner said.
Forceful interventions sidestepped "a catastrophic systemic meltdown," he said, bringing the economy to the point where, "the consensus among private forecasters is that our economy is now growing."
Geithner said banks, the focus of the $700 billion Targeted Asset Relief Plan bailout bill passed into law in October, had raised over $80 billion in common equity since the Treasury put the largest banks through stress tests in April.
In addition, "more than 30 firms have repaid $70 billion in Treasury investment," he said.
Geithner said a forceful approach turned the tide in dealing with an economy that was "in a free fall."
"The classic errors of economic policy during crises are to act late with insufficient force and then put the brakes on too early. We are not going to repeat those mistakes," he said.