8/04/2009

Geithner is losing it

This is comforting. From the NY Times:

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner blasted top regulators in an expletive-laden tirade amid frustration over President Barack Obama’s faltering plan to overhaul financial regulation, Reuters reported, citing a Monday story in The Wall Street Journal.

A person familiar with the meeting said that Mr. Geithner told regulators “enough is enough,” the newspaper said. The meeting took place last Friday with Federal Reserve chairman Ben S. Bernanke, Securities and Exchange Commission chairwoman Mary Schapiro and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairwoman Sheila Bair.

The Treasury secretary said regulators had been given a chance to air their concerns, but that it was time to stop, the newspaper said, citing the person.

A Treasury Department representative had no immediate comment. The Fed, the S.E.C. and the F.D.I.C. did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Mr. Obama in June unveiled a financial regulatory overhaul, sometimes called the biggest since the 1930s. Among other things, the plan would give the Fed added powers, award the government more power to break up troubled companies and create a new agency to oversee consumer finance.

Many major banks and industry trade groups have criticized the plan, as have some regulators wary that any redistribution of power would reduce their own.
According to the newspaper, Friday’s roughly hour-long meeting was unusual because of Mr. Geithner’s repeated obscenities and his aggressive posture toward regulators generally deemed independent of the White House.

The newspaper said Mr. Geithner told attendees that the administration and Congress set policy. It also said the Treasury secretary, without singling out officials, raised concerns about regulators who have questioned the wisdom of giving the Fed more power.

Ms. Schapiro and Ms. Bair have argued that more authority should be shared among a council of regulators.

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