Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner doesn't like the fact that he's so often associated with being a creature of Wall Street when nearly his whole career has been in public service.
In an interview on CNN's "GPS" program on Sunday, Geithner responded sharply when asked how he felt about being portrayed as "somehow in bed with Wall Street firms" while he spearheads the Obama administration's financial reform efforts.
At first it was amusing, but not for long.
"It is part of a narrative that hardened, which is that people came to view the judgments we were making through the prism of a myth," Geithner said, adding it was untrue that he had a background that left him beholden to industry.
"So I think it's actually very damaging," he said. "It's completely false, of course, and it, you know, should have been corrected a long time ago."
He said "newspapers of record" had wrongly implied he was in thrall to Wall Street and noted: "Some of them keep writing it, I don't know why it's the case."
Geithner was president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank before being nominated by President Barack Obama to head Treasury and that is about as close as he came to Wall Street.
He joked that he has never had "a real job" in the private sector.
"You know, basically, almost right out of graduate school, I came and worked as a very junior public servant at the Treasury, and spent my entire professional life since in some form of, you know, policy job," Geithner said.
© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.