OK, so most people don't know how to read a balance sheet.
But doesn't Geithner know that some Americans can read a balance sheet? (Some of us are even capable of understanding the order of claims in bankruptcy, and all that other Accounting 101 stuff.) As far as I can tell, his plan depends on none of these people being sufficiently public-spirited to point out that he's trying to protect bondholders at the expense of taxpayers. Perhaps he thinks the only people capable of understanding his plan are, themselves, the kinds of people benefitting from it?