Friday, February 20, 2009

Geithner and Summers Strike Back! (On behalf of Bailed Out Bank CEOs)

Isn't it amazing that whenever you hear crappy news from the Obama administration, it's an easy money bet that either Tim Geithner or Larry Summers is responsible?

During the stimulus bill fight, congressional democrats pushed hard to include executive pay caps on banks that participated in the bailout. This was condemned from all the usual suspects, and was then bolserted by somewhat surprising opposition from the Obama administration.

You'll never guess who was behind this brilliant idea:

A funny thing happened this weekend, after congressional Democrats surmounted a fierce lobbying effort and maintained one of three executive-pay limitation plans that were being eyed for removal from the final stimulus bill.

It turns out that Wall Street wasn't the only opponent of more stringent limits on bonuses for bailed-out executives -- Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and White House economic adviser Larry Summers were leading the charge to keep CEO pay caps out of the stimulus.

Oops. Though Geithner and Summers wanted President Obama's loophole-riddled executive compensation limits to be the only game in town, they ultimately lost that battle with Congress. Now what can they do to make sure eminently qualified leaders at companies like AIG and Merrill Lynch don't have to forgo their lucrative pay packages?

Over the last few months the "Larry Summers and Tim Geithner will secretly push through a progressive agenda using their right wing credentials" stories seem to have dissapeared. And since the argument seems as logical as it did 3 months ago when they were nominated, I can't say I understand why.

The new defense for these guys within the progressive blogs seems to have moved towards "trust them, they're experts and they know what they're doing" territory, which is about as weak sauce as arguments get.

People are free to put as much faith in them as they want, but at the end of the day I think their actions (like they did 3 months ago) speak for themselves.

1 comment:

  1. perhaps TEAM OF RIVALS would work best as a deathmatch where challengers with different ideas engage in mortal combat for the chance to put their plans into action- at least that way crappy cabinet members wouldnt last long.