When reporters start asking “What did he know and when did he know it?” about a presidential appointee: the drimbeat has started.
The simple answer to the question, “When did Geithner know about the AIG bonuses?” is: last year.
“How the Obama administration was caught flat-footed by this controversy dates back to last Fall, when the New York Federal Reserve Bank — then run by Geithner — stepped in to give AIG a high-interest loan for $85 billion to help prevent the company from going under — which Lehman Brothers was doing at the time. As part of the deal, AIG CEO Robert Willumstad was replaced by the new CEO, Liddy,” wrote Jake Tapper of ABC News.
If Geithner didn’t know that his organization didn’t put any limits on AIG bonuses last year and he just shoveled them money without strings: shame on him.
And shame on Obama. And shame on the Senate that confirmed Turbo Tax Tim.
CBS news said the “White House is in full damage control mode.”
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) said the administration is in “disarray.”
What few have said about Geithner is easy to see: he would be a handy blame guy for Obama and his Administration.
The AIG mess is not as much about corporate greed as the Administration and the liberal media want people to believe. It is also about the ineptitude of government. Turning around the belief that the top Obama people don’t know what they are doing could be resolved at least somewhat by sacking Geithner….
This is now about credibility, confidence, and competance. Without those things; investors won’t flood back into the markets, house buying will be depressed and the overal economic stimulus of buyers buying will not reboud as all of us would like.
The president himself has told us that confidence is the key to recovery.
And leaders like Warren Buffett have urged the president to take dramatic action — like making the economy the number one priority as if we were in a war….
Well the presidnet is in a war now: a war of credibility, confidence, and competance.
And since Obama has repeatedly said he has no intention of backing away from his agressive spending ways and wants to move his agenda ahead with gusto (saying just yesterday, “I didn’t come here to pass on our problems to the next president or the next generation. I came here to solve them. “): Geithern and the AIG mess stands in the way of the president’s spending agenda and the speed he needs to execute that.
So executing Geithner makes a lot of sense. It makes the only sense.
Making AIG repay millions after thy got billions may be dramatic to some. But making the key responsible government representative accounable by firing him would be a necessary step in regaining the president’s own reputation for credibility, confidence, and competance.
By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer
If not distancing itself from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the White House is placing firmly on his shoulders responsibility for how the government handled the $165 million in bonuses paid to about 400 executives and traders at American International Group Inc.
“Secretary Geithner last week engaged with the CEO of AIG to communicate what we thought were outrageous and unacceptable bonuses,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.
Then he volunteered the answer to a question being asked all over Washington: Did Geithner still enjoy President Barack Obama‘s confidence, given the whopping bonuses the failed insurance giant paid Friday after receiving taxpayer bailout money?
“The president has complete confidence” in Geithner, Gibbs said.
Is Obama satisfied that Geithner informed him of the impending bonus payments in a timely fashion?
“Yes, the president is satisfied,” Gibbs replied.
Those, of course, are statements that wouldn’t need to be made if Geithner’s status were clear. Not just a president’s confidence, but his “complete confidence” can be a well-worn political signal that the subject should start circulating a resume.