Friday, March 20, 2009

Did Tim Geithner lie? If so, he's toast.

As reported here, it turns out that Tim Geithner, among many others in the Administration and Congress, knew about the A.I.G. bonuses at least a week earlier than he has claimed since the issue blew up earlier this week. In testimony to a House committee on March 3rd, Rep. Joseph Crowley (D., N.Y.) asked Geithner what could be done about blocking the very same bonus money that was paid out last Friday to the geniuses at A.I.G., and Geithner gives a general answer about being "deeply committed" to doing the right thing.

Today, a Treasury spokesperson claimed that Geithner was "not aware of the timing or full extent of the contractual retention payments" on March 3rd.

Maybe so, but that only raises this question: after being asked directly about these bonuses by Congress why didn't he inform himself and the White House. (There is also the clear-cut fact that members of Congress, many of whom expressed outrage about this yesterday, also knew about the bonuses in early March, but that's another post.)

In any case, even if Geithner is doing a bang-up job, it's hard to see how he can survive as a political drag on Obama, particularly if the bonus issue continues to dominate the news come Monday.

Watch the whole video.

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