Archive for the ‘Tim Geithner’ Category

President, Treasury, Congress “undermining efforts to shore up the economy”

March 21, 2009

“By week’s end, I was more depressed about the financial crisis than I’ve been since last September. Back then, the issue was the disintegration of the financial system, as the Lehman bankruptcy set off a terrible chain reaction. Now I’m worried that the political response is making the crisis worse. The Obama administration appears to have lost its grip on Congress, while the Treasury Department always seems caught off guard by bad news.”

That from Joe Nocera in The New York Times.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/0
3/21/business/21nocera.html?_r=1&hp

I agree with Joe 100% but he is a lot smarter than me!

Related:

Bonus backlash hits Wall Street

American Democracy With Checks and Balances is Broken; Media, Congress Failing

Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Stock Market

 Obama Spending, Tax Plans Likely Out The Window As CBO Predicts Much More Debt

Obama, Geithner, Congress Squandering Confidence Needed For Recovery

***********************

From Joe Nocera in The New York Times:

Yes, the $165 million in bonuses handed out to executives in the financial products division of American International Group was infuriating. Truly, it was. As many others have noted, this is the same unit whose shenanigans came perilously close to bringing the world’s financial system to its knees. When the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, said recently that A.I.G.’s “irresponsible bets” had made him “more angry” than anything else about the financial crisis, he could have been speaking for most Americans.

But death threats? “All the executives and their families should be executed with piano wire — my greatest hope,” wrote one person in an e-mail message to the company. Another suggested publishing a list of the “Yankee” bankers “so some good old southern boys can take care of them.”

Or how about those efforts to publicize names of individual executives who received bonuses — efforts championed by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of New York and Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. To what end?

How does outing these executives fix skewed compensation incentives, which have created that unjustified sense of entitlement that pervades Wall Street? No, it’s mostly about using subpoena power to satisfy the public’s thirst for blood. (In light of the death threats, when Mr. Cuomo received the list of A.I.G. bonus recipients on Thursday, he promised to consider “individual security” and “privacy rights” in deciding whether to publicize the names.)

Then there was that awful Congressional hearing on Wednesday, in which A.I.G.’s newly installed chief executive, Edward Liddy, was forced to listen to one outraged member of Congress after another rail about bonuses — and obsess about when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner learned about them — while ignoring far more troubling problems surrounding the A.I.G. rescue.

Oh, and let’s not forget the bill that was passed on Thursday by the House of Representatives. It would tax at a 90 percent rate bonus payments made to anyone who earned over $250,000 at any financial institution receiving significant bailout funds. Should it become law, it will affect tens of thousands of employees who had absolutely nothing to do with creating the crisis, and who are trying to help fix their companies.

Meanwhile, the real culprits — like Joseph J. Cassano, the former head of A.I.G.’s financial products division— are counting their money in “retirement.” Nobody on Capitol Hill seems much interested in getting that money back. (And the bill does nothing about bonuses that were paid before 2009, meaning that most of those egregious Merrill Lynch bonuses, paid at the end of last year, will not be touched.)

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009
/03/21/business/21nocera.html?hp

Obama, Geithner, Congress Squandering Confidence Needed For Recovery

March 21, 2009

“What we need today is more optimism and more confidence,” Larry Summers said.

“Consumer confidence is slightly up. The market is slightly up,” Biden said.

“We need confidence to make this recovery work,” President Obama said.

 Psst: Obama; Biden Was Supposed To Be the Gaffe Prone Guy

I believe all that.  I also know that the president, his team, Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and a host of others are frittering away the confidence Americans and many others in the world like China need to make the recovery work….

“The whole congress should have their income taxed at 90% because of their incompetence,” said former Arkansas Governor Mike Huchabee today on Fox.[Pelosi+Congress.jpg]
http://cristyli.blogspot.com/

And Mister President, do I believe “Nobody messes with Joe?”

“Give me a f &^*$% ing break.”

 

You can’t urge confidence while spending trillions of taxpayers dollars and then spend, waste, an entire legislative week on $167 million with nothing to show for the effort except for a loss of confidence.

Congress this last week sent a torpedo into confidence in banks, companies like AIG, the Treasury, the White House, truth, honesty and themselves.

Why wait?  Follow the Grassley and Japanese way, congress: kill yourselves and save us the expense of a revolt……

The pain of your living, moronic behavior in a time of crisis is killing me and it should be killing you.  The wrong guy is going to die if the economy worsens: the taxpayer.

After the mass Seppuku (切腹 ) on Capitol Hill, the president can fire Geithner in an attempt to bring back some confidence. Some iota of confidence.  At least firing Geithner will be a pro-active step.

But nobody seems ready to do the right thing; even though I did the right thing by sending in my professionally (no Turbo Tax for me) prepared IRS forms yesterday….

And are we expected to have confidence in the president’s budget and allow rapacious spending on health care, energy, climate change and education?

Not after yesterday’s CBO report and not after what we”ve seen since Barack Obama and this congress go into the act….

Please see all the goodies at Michelle Malkin’s house….
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/2
1/saturday-open-thread-7/


President Obama, Joe Biden, Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, Chris Dodd, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and a host of others are running off to spend our money too fast and we have lost confidence…..

Related:
Bonus backlash hits Wall Street

American Democracy With Checks and Balances is Broken; Media, Congress Failing

Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Stock Market

 Obama Spending, Tax Plans Likely Out The Window As CBO Predicts Much More Debt

Obama: Why Are We Saving Geithner and His Incestuous Relationship With Wall Street?

Finance, one of America’s great industries, being destroyed by Congress during crisis?

For Cuomo, AIG, Financial Crisis Is His Political Moment

 Did Obama White House Fuel AIG Bonus Mess To Enact Tougher Rules With Public Support, “Outrage”?

[Commentary]
Martin Kozlowski, WSJ

Obama, Congress, Treasury, Fed: Shameful Mismanagement of Your Money, Recovery

March 19, 2009

If you are a fan of movies featuring a hero who steps forward to add courage, virtue and good thinking to a disaster to make things right; the AIG bonus flap will cause you disappointment and worry.

There are no leading men or heroes here.  Just bad actors.

And the really worrisome point is this: the AIG bonus flap is about is just $165 million out of trillions of dollars now flowing through the decision makers in the White House, Congress, the Treasury and Federal Reserve.

The outrage expressed over the AIG bonuses is like being worried about one molecule on an elephant standing on your food and dying of cancer without  medical attention.

The elephant is the economy and the poorly managed recovery so far.  Money has been hemorrhaging  out of the taxpayers’ coffers and into all kinds of hands you would never approve of — for months — and the president is preaching “transparency.”

The courage, virtue and good thinking so far has apparently only been delivered during carefully scripted TV appearances — and now even Obama and Biden are not allowed out of their bathrooms without telepromters.

Obama, Pelosi: Anything to Win

The root cause of the AIG flap?  The quickly executed and poorly cobbled together stimulus bill for starters.  Nancy Pelosi’s stimulus bill.  Chris Dodd, with help, undoubtedly, inserted language legalizing just the kind of bonuses AIG paid — so everyone who expressed “outrage” from the president on down is to blame for rushing through congress a hash bill of over $700 billion — and then blaming a company that thought they were doing the right thing, the legal thing, the thing they told the Fed about months ago.

And the president is going through the books line by line….

No “lawmaker” admitted to even reading the stimulus before making it a law: which should sound alarm bells that the White House the Congress and all else involved were into a stampede of good intentions which seldom yields good law.  Even the lobbyists couldn’t keep up with the stimulus….

Then add poor performance on the part of those responsible for oversight.

What we have is a witches brew of White House, Congress, Treasury and Fed.

The problem is Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke and their many munchkins — not mean old AIG executives and lawyers and Wall Street — this time.

Politically, if history is any guide, “No Drama Obama” will continue to receive love and support from an adoring public and media: but he’s the one that slammed the stimulus down the throats of congress and he’s the one that picked Tim Geithner.

The president didn’t create the crisis but he fueled it and pushed hard for speedy action — not well thought out legislation.

We fault the president for not speaking the truth on this, which he is often not very good at.

But we still have hope, which the president often urges, that Barack Obama will come clean with the American people and tell them that the federal government screwed up and can, will and should do a lot better.

By firing Geithner the president can go a long way in quieting this storm.  Standing by this Treasury Secretary just leaves a giant hunk of doubt, suspicion and guilt in the middle of the “recovery” that the president has said requires confidence.

And that doubt is now the elephant in the room.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
In AIG flap, it’s not just about bonuses anymore

Defining Moment for Obama’s Treasury Secretary

Fed Failed to Tell Obama About AIG Bonuses For Months

Robert Reich: AIG,Transparency, Treasury, Fed: Lost?

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/
19/where-in-the-world-146/

Obama, Congress, Treasury, Fed: Shameful Mismanagement of Your Money, Recovery

Fed Failed to Tell Obama About AIG Bonuses For Months

“Dodd The Dodge” — Senator Weasels Away The Truth; And Not Artfully

Dodd Allowed AIG To Thrive in His State, Approved Bonuses: Now Throws Them Under The Bus

Amid AIG Furor, Dodd Tries to Undo Bonus Protections He and Geithner Put In 

Did Obama White House Fuel AIG Bonus Mess To Enact Tougher Rules With Public Support, “Outrage”?

http://cinie.wordpress.com/20
09/03/19/psssst-theyre-all-lying/

Treasury might not be up to the job of fighting recession

March 10, 2009

The Treasury might not be “up to the job” of spearheading the British Government’s response to the recession, according to the IPPR, one of Labour’s favourite think tanks. Britains worry…

By Christopher Hope
The Telegraph (UK)
Senior officials from the IPPR, the Institute of Public Policy Research, also questioned whether Gordon Brown’s policy of appointing former bankers as ministers was appropriate in dealing with “problems that banks have caused themselves”.

The Treasury was “not in good shape” to cope with the pressures of becoming a more interventionist Government while keeping a right rein on public spending, the IPPR said.

Guy Lodge and Tony Dolphin from the Institute said: “The lights are on in the Treasury but who is minding the tills? After hiving off so much responsibility for fiscal and monetary policy, the department is not in good shape to tackle the biggest economic crash for decades.”

They said part of the problem was that, when Mr Brown was Chancellor between 1997 and 2007, the Treasury spread itself too thinly and became a “Department for the Domestic Front”, wrapping its “tentacles” around large swathes of policy including welfare reform and child poverty.

This has meant that when the economy went downhill, the Treasury lost its core skills of keeping a check on the public finances and lost touch with its “conventional role of saying ‘no'” to more public spending.

In article in this week’s edition of ‘Public Finance’, the pair said: “Genuine doubts have been raised about whether the Treasury has the people it needs to face all these challenges simultaneously.

“The ‘Alistair and Mervyn’ show might be about to hit the road. It remains to be seen whether Treasury staff are well placed to support such a ‘show’.”

The departments suffers from “ridiculously high turnover rate in posts”, they said, adding: “Treasury officials rarely spend more than a year in post before moving on. This weakens the department’s skills base and deprives it of specialist expertise.”

Staff numbers have been cut by 17 per cent over the past four years. More cuts are planned by 2011. To make matters worse, the Treasury has also had problems filling policy posts. A recruitment drive last year was “only partially successful in plugging the skills gap”, leaving the Treasury short of vital skills.

They said: “One consequence of these changes is that today’s Treasury has few staff with experience of fighting a recession or dealing with a major economic calamity.”

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/rec
ession/4967743/Treasury-might-not-be-up-to-the-jo
b-of-fighting-recession-warns-IPPR.html

And other than Turbo Tax manipulation, what is U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s experience in dealing with recession?

Stimulus: Obama Outsmarts Everyone

February 15, 2009

AM I crazy, or wasn’t the Obama presidency pronounced dead just days ago? Obama had “all but lost control of the agenda in Washington,” declared Newsweek on Feb. 4 as it wondered whether he might even get a stimulus package through Congress. “Obama Losing Stimulus Message War” was the headline at Politico a day later. At the mostly liberal MSNBC, the morning host, Joe Scarborough, started preparing the final rites. Obama couldn’t possibly eke out a victory because the stimulus package was “a steaming pile of garbage.”

By Frank Rich
The New York Times
.
Less than a month into Obama’s term, we don’t (and can’t) know how he’ll fare as president. The compromised stimulus package, while hardly garbage, may well be inadequate. Timothy Geithner’s uninspiring and opaque stab at a bank rescue is at best a place holder and at worst a rearrangement of the deck chairs on the TARP-Titanic, where he served as Hank Paulson’s first mate.

But we do know this much. Just as in the presidential campaign, Obama has once again outwitted the punditocracy and the opposition. The same crowd that said he was a wimpy hope-monger who could never beat Hillary or get white votes was played for fools again.

On Wednesday, as a stimulus deal became a certainty on Capitol Hill, I asked David Axelrod for his take on this Groundhog Day relationship between Obama and the political culture.

“It’s why our campaign was not based in Washington but in Chicago,” he said. “We were somewhat insulated from the echo chamber. In the summer of ’07, the conventional wisdom was that Obama was a shooting star; his campaign was irretrievably lost; it was a ludicrous strategy to focus on Iowa; and we were falling further and further behind in the national polls.” But even after the Iowa victory, this same syndrome kept repeating itself. When Obama came out against the gas-tax holiday supported by both McCain and Clinton last spring, Axelrod recalled, “everyone in D.C. thought we were committing suicide.”

Related:
Obama Team Gloats: Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15
/opinion/15rich.html?_r=1

 
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Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner

The “Real” Obama: How Centrist?

December 12, 2008

Barack Obama has garnered praise from center to right — and has highly irritated the left — with the centrism of his major appointments. Because Obama’s own beliefs remain largely opaque, his appointments have led to the conclusion that he intends to govern from the center.

Obama the centrist? I’m not so sure. Take the foreign policy team: Hillary Clinton, James Jones and Bush holdover Robert Gates. As centrist as you can get. But the choice was far less ideological than practical. Obama has no intention of being a foreign policy president. Unlike, say, Nixon or Reagan, he does not have aspirations abroad. He simply wants quiet on his eastern and western fronts so that he can proceed with what he really cares about — his domestic agenda.

 Charles Krauthammer
The Washington Post
Friday, December 12, 2008; Page A27

Similarly his senior economic team, the brilliant trio of Tim Geithner, Larry Summers and Paul Volcker: centrist, experienced and mainstream. But their principal task is to stabilize the financial system, a highly pragmatic task in which Obama has no particular ideological stake.
A functioning financial system is a necessary condition for a successful Obama presidency. As in foreign policy, Obama wants experts and veterans to manage and pacify universes in which he has little experience and less personal commitment. Their job is to keep credit flowing and the world at bay so that Obama can address his real ambition: to effect a domestic transformation as grand and ambitious as Franklin Roosevelt’s.

As Obama revealingly said just last week, “This painful crisis also provides us with an opportunity to transform our economy to improve the lives of ordinary people.” Transformation is his mission. Crisis provides the opportunity. The election provides him the power.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/12/11
/AR2008121102951.html?hpid=
opinionsbox1