Archive for the ‘March Madness’ Category

President’s Economic Team in Trouble: Especially Geithner

March 20, 2009

Last November, all we heard about was the “brilliant,” “sharp,” “energetic,” and “visionary” economic team of Barack Obama.

We had hope.

But then the president himself exhibeted a loss of hope or no hope.  We needed the stimulus and we needed it now.  No need to read it “lawmakers,” we’ll get what’s needed in there.

And apparently, Tim Geithner’s Treasury got what it wanted into the stimulus: including the AIG bonus green light.

We had hope again, and trust.

The president said congress needed to pass the stimulus or face “catastrophe.”

Well, now we have the stimulus and the congress is a catastrophe.  And the economy is only holding on to life — despite the stimulus.

Now all that has crashed to earth.

Now, suddenly, the president is saying “It’s not so bad; have confidene.”

Well, in what should we have confidence, exactly?  In whom?

The president has lost control of the message and the agenda.  He went on Jay Leno last night and looked like a wash out from the Special Olympics.  But he did display loyalty, especially to Tim Geithner.

This is sounding like, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”

Where did the “brilliant,” “sharp,” “energetic,” and “visionary” go?  Down the drain with the hope, apparently.

Fire Geithner, Mister President, and re-focus on the economy.

In the Clinton years we said, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

That could still work….

The president has scheduled a major address for next Tuesday.  That will be about not the “State of the Union” but the state of March Madness.

And that doesn’t mean basketball….


Michelle Malkin Says Geithner Can’t Get It Right

On Geithner: there is a growing sound of voices calling for his resignation, yet at Treasury there are still something like 17 top positions vacant.  Last night on the Fox News Channel, Hannity interviewed Fred Thompson who had doubts that the president could find someone with the far left pedigre the president wants, the financial skills reuired and a person with the willingness to serve as Treasury Secretary in this tough environment…..

Thompson seemed to think we were “stuck” with Geithner.  But we think the president has to get rid of geithner the tar babby before the president himself starts to suffer lower poll numbers from this appointment …..
Confidence is draining from the American voter faster that the president can patch the leaks.  Going after the AIG bonuses is understandable and right; but that is only a slight drip and not even a trickle.

The deluge in spending from the stimulus and the omnibus: to the tune of $1 billion per hour in this president’s first 50 days, is staggering, along with the interest payments and national debt.

But it isn’t  deluge of water.  It is a deluge of money and confidence and political capital: the lifeblood of a president.

And Obama’s cohorts in all this excite no confidence at all: Geithner, Pelosi, Dodd, Barney Frank, Harry Reid and the rest.

The only one the president can fire is Geithner….

And that may be enough to boost confidence if he has the right replacement….

Defining Moment for Obama’s Treasury Secretary


Many People in Government Knew About AIG Bonuses Weeks Ago

The New York Times

The question was direct and prescient. Representative Joseph Crowley, Democrat of New York, asked the Treasury secretary in an open hearing what could be done to stop American International Group from paying $165 million in bonuses to hundreds of employees in the very unit that had nearly destroyed the company.

Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary, responded by saying that executive pay in the financial industry had gotten “out of whack” in recent years, and pledged to crack down on exorbitant pay at companies like A.I.G. that were being bailed out with billons of taxpayer dollars.

The exchange took place before the House Ways and Means Committee on March 3 — one week before Mr. Geithner claims he first learned that the failed insurance company was about to pay a round of bonuses that have since caused a political uproar.

A Treasury spokesman, Isaac Baker, said in a statement on Thursday night, “Although Congressman Crowley raised the issue of the bonuses two weeks ago, Secretary Geithner was not aware of the timing or full extent of the contractual retention payments or the other bonus programs until his staff brought them to his attention on March 10.”

Mr. Baker said that after Mr. Geithner had been briefed on the bonuses, he called Edward M. Liddy, the chief executive of A.I.G., and “insisted that they be renegotiated and restructured, in light of the extraordinary assistance being provided by taxpayers.”

Mr. Baker added that Mr. Geithner “takes full responsibility for not being aware of these programs before last week.”

Interviews with senior Federal Reserve and Treasury officials, as well as members of Congress, leave little doubt that the bonus program was a disaster hiding in plain sight. Mr. Geithner is not the only one who appears not to have understood the populist fury the bonuses would set off.

Career staff officials at the Treasury, Fed and Federal Reserve Bank of New York exchanged e-mail messages about the A.I.G. bonus program as early as late February, according to a person familiar with the matter. A.I.G. itself revealed the bonus plan in regulatory filings last September.

Read the rest: