Under grilling by the House oversight committee Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that he had nothing to do with a decision to let insurer American International Group hide the names of banks it paid off using some of its $182 billion taxpayer bailout. Geithner also defended the terms of the bailout, saying it was imperfect but necessary to prevent a second Great Depression. Several members of the committee said they didn't believe him. Is Geithner lying to save his skin? (Watch an AP report about Tim Geithner's AIG testimony)
Yes. He should resign: Timothy Geithner claims it was necessary to give the banks a big piece of A.I.G.'s bailout, says blogger Big Tent Democrat in Talk Left, but that's "ridiculous." The banks were in no position to argue -- if they had let A.I.G. collapse they would have received nothing. Geithner's making excuses for looking out for Wall Street before taxpayers -- he must go.
"The Geithner A.I.G. scandal"
No. Geithner is telling the truth: Don't forget what things were like in 2008 after the fall of Lehman and the "frightful sell-off" of bank stocks, says Douglas A. McIntyre in 24/7 Wall St. Timothy Geithner and his predecessor, Henry Paulson, believed they had to pump money into Wall Street to prevent a panic. Geithner isn't lying. "He simply believes he saved the world."
"In defense Of Geithner"
Geithner stretched the truth, and it worked: "Stretch is a good word for Mr. Geithner's responses," says David Weidner in The Wall Street Journal. It's a stretch to say the government couldn't have obtained a better deal for taxpayers, and it's a stretch to say Geithner -- then president of the New York Federal Reserve -- "had no say over disclosure of the A.I.G. bailout details." With Congress out for blood, it was "good politics" for him to stick to his story -- but that doesn't make him a champion of truth.
"Enter Geithner, the politician"