Read the complete transcript. Excerpt below:
GREGORY: So good economic news, the economy grew a little bit in the third quarter; has a lot of people thinking things are getting better. And yet the market on Friday dropped pretty sharply. Does Wall Street think the recession is over?
GEITHNER: I think it is a good number. It was -- the growth was broad based. It was investment, exports, consumption, housing for the first time. And it shows that, you know, just five months after the president came into office we got growths restarted. But it’s just the beginning and we’ve got a ways to go. Unemployment’s high and still rising.
This is a very tough economy, still, for huge numbers of American’s businesses, so we’ve got a ways to go, David.
GREGORY: Do you think the recession is over?
GEITHNER: That’s the judgment the economists will make, and they won’t know until years from now. But the real test of recovery will be when we have unemployment coming down, people back to work, businesses confident to invest again.
GREGORY: What do people have to be braced for, despite this news?
GEITHNER: Well, again, I think it’s -- it’s good news and it shows that, when you act with force, you can stabilize a crisis like this and, you know, start to repair the damage and bring things back.
But this is going to be a different recovery than the past, because Americans are going to have to save more. A lot of damage was caused by this crisis. It’s going to take some time for us to grow out of this. It could be a little choppy; it could be uneven; and it’s going to take a while. But I think, again, this is encouraging signs.
GREGORY: Difficult days still ahead?
GEITHNER: Well, again, I think for large numbers of Americans and businesses, small businesses in particular, it’s a tough economy.
GREGORY: So more difficulty before it gets better.
GEITHNER: Well, it’s getting better. It’s going to be better gradually, and we’re going to make sure we keep at it until we have an economy that’s growing again led by the private sector, of course, ultimately.
GEITHNER: You know, what the government did was to step in and make sure we’re providing the tax cuts and investments necessary to arrest the crisis, get credit markets starting to open up again. And we did that, that plan worked. But we’ve got a ways to go before...
GREGORY: But that’s a big question, whether or not -- yes, you have growth for the first time in four quarters. But is any of this growth sustainable without government intervention?
GEITHNER: It will be, it will be. But what the government has to do in a crisis is to provide a bridge until the economy can repair itself and businesses are confident enough to start to invest again. And again, you’re starting to see it again.
Businesses now, I think they’ll say -- you talk to people across the country, they’ll say that they feel that things are more stable now and for the first time they see orders starting to pick up. And what will happen is they’ll start to invest again, they’ll start to bring people back onto their payroll and this will get more momentum.