A Dump Geithner Movement Growing
by Charles Lemos, Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 09:40:19 PM EST
The Hill reports that there is a "growing consensus" among the Congressional Progressive Caucus that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner should step aside.
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said Wednesday that he and other liberal House members are becoming increasingly tired of Obama administration economic policies that they say are too focused on maintaining the stability of Wall Street firms and largely ignore "Main Street."
"A growing consensus in the caucus [believe that Geithner should be removed]," DeFazio said on MSNBC this evening, adding that some lawmakers are "considering questions regarding him and other economic advisers."
DeFazio said that lawmakers have not yet drafted a plan to remove Geithner. The lawmaker also took aim at top Obama economic adviser Larry Summers for furthering many of the same policies favored by Geithner.
"We need a new economic team," said DeFazio.
The veteran congressman specifically mentioned last year's bank bailouts and the Geithner's handling of the collapse of insurance giant AIG. At the time, Geithner was head of the New York Fed in the Bush administration.
"We may have to sacrifice just two more jobs to get millions back for Americans," the congressman added.
As Treasury Secretary, Geithner is clearly not up to the task. The report from TARP inspector general Neil Barofsky that details how the New York Fed, then headed by the Geithner, failed to stand up for taxpayers and folded its hand agreeing that AIG's creditors should be paid 100 cents on the dollar for financial instruments worth a fraction of their value. But rather than negotiate and offer to cover fifty or seventy-five percent of policy value, Geithner simply acquiesced.
Appearing on Tuesday on Capitol Hill, Secretary Geithner bemoaned that "the most important thing to understand about this - and this was a tragic failure of our country - is that we came into this crisis without the basic set of tools we needed to contain the damage caused by hugely costly mistakes in parts of our financial system."
Sadly the failure is also yours. In a response to a question by Congressman Ron Paul of Texas earlier this summer demonstrated how oblivious he is to his duties, Geithner demurred that he had never been "a regulator." He's half right. As head of the New York Federal Reserve he had oversight responsibility but he failed to act.
That was then, this is now. Thirteen months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the collapse of the financial industry, the United States has yet to adopt any legislation to change the way it oversees or regulates financial industries. What's he waiting for? Another meltdown?
It's time for Secretary Geithner to step aside.