Administration officials were greeted with sarcasm and laughter Monday night when they briefed lawmakers and congressional staff on Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s new financial-sector bailout project, according to people who were in the room.
The laughter was at its height when Obama officials explained that the White House planned to guarantee a wide swath of toxic assets — which they referred to as “legacy assets” — but wouldn’t be asking Congress for money. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), a bailout opponent in the fall, asked the officials to give Congress the total dollar figure for which they were on the hook. The officials said that they couldn’t provide a number, a response met by chuckling that was bipartisan, but tilted toward the GOP side. By guaranteeing the assets, Geithner hopes he can persuade the private sector to purchase a portion of them.
So why exactly did team Obama rush out to make this announcement when it is pretty clear they are just making shit up as they go along? And is it possible that Tim Geithner could be the man that sinks the Obama presidency?
I have no idea what to do or how this situation can be fixed, but it is pretty clear that neither do the masters of the universe. At what point did our banking and financial system change from middle-aged white guys in blue suits who said “no” to everything into folks like this:
I give up. If you can tell me how this plan is different or better than the status quo, I am all ears.