Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Personal Aside: The Chamber of Horrors at Treasury.
This guy Barack Obama and Tim Geithner make George W. Bush look like a genius. However it will be very instructive to see how the major ahem objective media like Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson play this latest dustup at Treasury about the bonuses for AIGs Financial Products subsidiary that has been responsible for the near collapse of the giant insurance company.
Here AIG execs get $165 million of taxpayer money used for bonuses for these executives who screwed up AIG for a job well done! Not only that, Treasury only found it out on March 5 that the bonuses were to be paid but news of this had been carried in Bloomberg News. Nobody at Treasury or in the White House read it, evidently.
An official at treasury discovered this three days after Obama announced that an additional $30 billion will be expended March 2. But Treasury Secretary Geithner wasnt informed until March 10! News travels slowly in the treasury bureaucracy. Geithner phoned AIG to protest the bonuses on March 11. And it was not until the following day March 12 that Geithner told the White House about this (the info was passed to Obama the same day).
The curious thing is that Geithner himself as president of the New York Federal Reserve bank should have suspected as much when in that capacity he gave AIG a loan for $85 billion. The provision was contained in the bill that Congress passed, added by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), chairman of Senate Banking, who is very-very close to financial institutions and who received the number one largesse of campaign contributions from AIG more than $100,000. Sen. Obama placed second, also getting more than $100,000.
Now reportedly Obama wants treasury to fix it. Wha-a-a? Doesnt he know that the contractual part of legislation that was passed and signed by the president cannot be abrogated? Can he fathom the serious economic dislocation that could happen if business gets the idea that everything else the feds pass in Congress can be abrogated?
With this remarkable case history in administrative efficiency, can you calculate how this team that cant shoot straight will handle a true military-foreign policy-nuclear threat? Scary.
If this had happened on Bushs watch, there would be cries for him to be impeached on grounds of incompetence, misfeasance, malfeasance. Wanna bet the media will sweep this under the rug?