The Campaign Spot

No Meetings of Financial Stability Oversight Board Under Obama Administration

Ed Morrissey finds yet another glaring piece of evidence that the Obama administration has completely dropped the ball when it comes to oversight of TARP funds.

Interim Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Neel Kashkari testified before the House Financial Services Committee on December 10th about the oversight (emphases mine):

. . . The law required the first board meeting to take place within fourteen days. We moved very quickly, and the Oversight Board met within four days. At that initial meeting, the members of the Board selected Chairman Bernanke to be Chairman of the Oversight Board. The law requires the Board to meet once a month, but it has already met four times in the just two months since the law was signed, with numerous staff calls between meetings, and expects to meet again this week. . . .

The listing of board minutes can be found on the Treasury’s website.  However, according to this list, the last [Financial Stability Oversight Board] meeting took place on January 15th of this year — five days before Barack Obama’s inauguration.  The meeting was conducted via conference call.  It was the last meeting in which former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson participated.

According to this, current Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has yet to participate in the oversight function Congress mandated by law.  Despite receiving hundreds of billions of dollars in additional TARP funds, it appears that the current administration has performed zero oversight over it.  Not only does that beg the question as to what Tim Geithner is actually doing as Treasury Secretary, it also makes it appear that Congress has no desire to protect the money it’s shoveling into the West Wing of the White House.

We can blame the vetters for not letting any nominations for other Treasury positions go forward; we can blame Geithner for not holding any additional meetings of this board. But ultimately, the buck stops at the top, and we can see that the administration is failing to meet one of its key duties in administering TARP.

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