"To get out of this we need banks to take a chance on businesses, to take risks again," Geithner said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."
Geithner, who outlined a plan to remove toxic assets from banks earlier this month, said banks would emerge "stronger" from this crisis.
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"We need to end this pattern of having booms and busts at the kind of frequency we've seen -- that has to change," he said. "That will make this a better place to live and a more productive economy moving forward."
The Treasury secretary also said the department has $135 billion in bail out money left that has not been set aside for specific banks.