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Remember When Geithner Was Mr. Indispensible?

Rick Wagoner is still on the Government Motors payroll, and Tim Geithner is still unable to staff the Treasury or get his programs running: These geniuses are bouncing around like the Thing One and Thing Two of the new American corporatism, a matched set. WaPo reports:

Seven weeks after the Treasury Department announced that it was ousting General Motors chief G. Richard Wagoner Jr. in the federal bailout of the company, he is still technically on GM’s payroll.

… Government officials, inside the Treasury and out, say the unresolved issues are piling up in part because of vacancies in the department’s top ranks. But some of the officials also cite the Treasury’s ad-hoc management, which is dominated by a small band of Geithner’s counselors who coordinate rescue initiatives but lack formal authority to make decisions. Heavy involvement by the White House in Treasury affairs has further muddied the picture of who is responsible for key issues, the officials add.

One of the department’s signature initiatives, considered vital for getting at the root of the financial crisis, aims at relieving banks of their toxic assets. But to those familiar with the program, it remains unclear who will decide some of the practical details, such as whether foreign firms will be allowed to participate in the funds that buy the assets. This uncertainty is slowing the rollout of the program, which in any case has proven daunting to design. Announced in early February, it may not launch until July, officials say.

So the centralized government planning isn’t going as planned? Who could have predicted that? Oh, yeah, GM could have predicted that — check out the title page.


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