Meet the New Administration; Same as the Old Administration
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, appearing today before the congressional bailout oversight panel, repeatedly emphasized the importance of transparency to the success of the rescue plan.
“In a crisis, transparency, accountability and a coherent plan with clear goals are essential to maintain the confidence of the public and capital markets,” he told the panel.
Funny, then, that Geithner is ignoring a congressional inquiry into Treasury’s plan to circumvent congressionally imposed restrictions on bailout recipients by creating a middleman through which to channel bailout funds. That strategy — first reported April 4 by The Washington Post — would allow the bailed out firms to claim that they haven’t received help directly from the government because the money would be funneled through these “special purpose vehicles” — a technicality allowing firms to ignore certain behavioral conditions, including executive pay limits.
The plan drew fire from Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who fired off a series of questions to Geithner about why the Treasury thinks it has the authority to ignore Washington’s legislative branch.
Towns requested answers by last Thursday, but Towns spokeswoman Jenny Rosenberg said today that Treasury has yet to respond.
How’s that for maintaining the confidence of the public?