Oversight czar blasts Treasury, but never mentions FINSOB?

posted at 4:00 pm on March 31, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Glenn Thrush reports at Politico that Congress’ “oversight czar” for the bailouts hasn’t gotten much cooperation from the Most Transparent Administration Evah.  Elizabeth Warren told the Senate Finance Committee today that she needs a law passed that would require Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to talk to her.  Apparently, no one in the committee realized that Treasury and the rest of the Obama administration has continued to break existing law on oversight:

Elizabeth Warren, the law professor appointed as Congress’s oversight czar on bank bailouts, blasted the Treasury Department — saying new legislation might be needed to give the House and Senate more access to details of the $700 billion rescue program.

Warren, testifying before the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday morning, said keeping Congress in the loop isn’t a “priority” of Secretary Tim Geithner — and suggested a possible “next step” would be to pass legislation that would “require [Treasury] to consult” with her. …

She added that Treasury has given her “no articulation of what [the bailout] is supposed to accomplish” and lamented the fact that “we have no way to measure” its success.

Chuck Grassley told her that Congress ought to send a few Senators to accompany Warren on her next visit to get more cooperation.  Maybe Grassley and Congress ought to demand that the Obama administration abide by existing law and have the Financial Stability Oversight Board (FINSOB) start meeting again.  As I wrote eleven days ago, the Obama administration has not held a single meeting of FINSOB since Obama’s inauguration, despite a legal requirement to meet at least monthly:

In addition to the normal oversight provided by Congressional committees of jurisdiction, the Congress established four important avenues of oversight: one, the Financial Stability Oversight Board; two, the Special Inspector General; three, the Government Accountability Office; and four, the Congressional Oversight Panel. I will review Treasury’s interaction with each body in detail.

First, we moved immediately to establish the Financial Stability Oversight Board, which, by law, includes: the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

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 Obama administration moved the records of FINSOB meetings to its new Financial Stability website, and the update confirms my earlier report that FINSOB has not met since January 15th, in clear violation of the TARP legislation.  Congress demanded oversight and accountability for their massive outlays of funds to Treasury.  The Bush administration responded, holding meetings almost every week when Hank Paulson was Treasury Secretary.  His last FINSOB meeting was January 15th; Geithner has yet to chair a single FINSOB meeting.

Rather than pass more legislation, let’s have Congress enforce the laws on the books.  We need to demand an answer as to why Geithner and Obama are avoiding oversight through FINSOB.


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Rather than pass more legislation, let’s have Congress enforce the laws on the books.

It’s much more fun for the legislators to just pass new, tough legislation. Plus, they get good publicity because they are taking on a big problem.

Of course, most of the public won’t know that there are already laws on the books, so the legislators are free and clear.

myrenovations on March 31, 2009 at 4:04 PM

If Robert Byrd were dead, he would be turning over in his grave.

singlemalt_18 on March 31, 2009 at 4:04 PM

FINSOB? That was sooooo yesterday. Congress has companies to run, cars to design, and a wage table for private industries to create.

genso on March 31, 2009 at 4:05 PM

I thought that “Congressional oversight” brought us the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae disasters?

The term “Congressional oversight” is as illogical as the term “attractive Barney Frank.”

OhEssYouCowboys on March 31, 2009 at 4:07 PM

and from the MSM… crickets chirping

Mr_Magoo on March 31, 2009 at 4:10 PM

hey looky looky at the little birdie in my hand… *poof* wow! I am shocked! absolutely shocked at this marvel that is our POTUS? How does he do it?

gatorboy on March 31, 2009 at 4:11 PM

Congress should create an oversight board for the FINSOB; call it the FINSOBOB. Then everything will be OK.

WashJeff on March 31, 2009 at 4:11 PM

Since when does Herr Hussain need oversight? There is no money left to see!

calguyintexas on March 31, 2009 at 4:12 PM

How about we send the cops in there, arrest Geithner and Ogabe, and throw their asses in jail until the trial?

WTF? No seriously, WTF is happening?

Bishop on March 31, 2009 at 4:12 PM

Gaia, I have a bad bad feeling about this, when we find out where and to whom this money is flowing.

Why did the nation have to be hijacked just as my little tots are growing up?

Bishop on March 31, 2009 at 4:14 PM

Don’t worry, ole Barry will come out and say everything is going top be okay!

Barack Obama, the new Billy Mays!

calguyintexas on March 31, 2009 at 4:15 PM

How about we send the cops in there, arrest Geithner and Ogabe, and throw their asses in jail until the trial?

WTF? No seriously, WTF is happening?

Bishop on March 31, 2009 at 4:12 PM

I’m increasingly convinced that that outcome is too civil compared to what awaits us over the next year or two

gatorboy on March 31, 2009 at 4:15 PM

Section. 8. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

So, can someone please point out how the Treasure, and Fed Reserve Bank, managed to borrow the money, or print the money, for the 12.5 TRILLION dollar bailout?

Congress only voted 700 Billion…. so… just where, Constitutionaly, does Geithner have the power to do what he is doing?

Romeo13 on March 31, 2009 at 4:16 PM

Meanwhile on Yahoo! Finance:

Wall Street set for best month in 6 years on tech, banks
Tuesday March 31, 2009, 2:29 pm EDT

Happy days are here again! Of course, the Dow used to be 14000… and my Wells Fargo stock that was $40 last fall, is now $13 because even though they are one of the most conservative banks, did all the right things (write off losses early, buy up Wachovia), they took the TARP $ that was shoved down their throats. But WTH, it’s the best month in 6 years! Yahoo!

Mr_Magoo on March 31, 2009 at 4:16 PM

WTF? No seriously, WTF is happening?

Bishop on March 31, 2009 at 4:12 PM

Can I get a WTF speciality license plate on the people’s car?

WashJeff on March 31, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Same sad story – pass a new law instead of enforcing existing laws. Smells like the imigration dance. The DC Kabuki theater is open and taking reservations now.

IndyConserv on March 31, 2009 at 4:17 PM

IMPEACH!

hillbillyjim on March 31, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Obama on the phone to Geitner:

“Quick! We need a diversion! How ’bout another Earf Hour? In fact better make it two hours.”

Mr_Magoo on March 31, 2009 at 4:19 PM

So is main picture on Drudge all day the device that is going to be used on us until we repent and go along with Dear Leader?

WashJeff on March 31, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Where the hell is Steele and the RNC on this? Where the hell are the Congressional Republicans?

They should be screaming bloody murder 24/7 over everything this corrupt administration has done since Jan 20.

I want balls dammit. Someone in Congress stand up and lead the charge.

darwin on March 31, 2009 at 4:22 PM

If Robert Byrd were dead, he would be turning over in his grave.

singlemalt_18 on March 31, 2009 at 4:04 PM

As it is, that bloodsucker just spins in his coffin.

hawksruleva on March 31, 2009 at 4:23 PM

Sweet, Legislative vs Executive cat fight. Bring it out in the open.
Dems on Dems with Reupblican Senators as referees, let’s rock.

Nice post Ed!

FireBlogger on March 31, 2009 at 4:24 PM

So, can someone please point out how the Treasure, and Fed Reserve Bank, managed to borrow the money, or print the money, for the 12.5 TRILLION dollar bailout?

Congress only voted 700 Billion…. so… just where, Constitutionaly, does Geithner have the power to do what he is doing?

Federal Reserve Act of 1913…

More info here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6507136891691870450&ei=U1HSSe3fH6PWqAP307i5BA&q=the+creature+from+jekyll+island&hl=en

Constitution1st on March 31, 2009 at 4:24 PM

Rather than pass more legislation, let’s have Congress enforce the laws on the books.

Please.

Passing legislation gets corrupt and incompetent Democrat’s spittle flecked muzzles on TV.

Enforcing legislation takes actual, well, you know, work. Which requires effort and competence.

And effort/competence are NOT in the skill set of any Congressional Democrat. At least not when it comes to what they are actually elected to do, rather than what they do to get elected.

NoDonkey on March 31, 2009 at 4:25 PM

Oversight: Noun

1. An unintentional omission or mistake.

Nope. This is intentional.

2. Watchful care or management; supervision.

Don’t make me laugh.

Loxodonta on March 31, 2009 at 4:26 PM

Mr_Magoo on March 31, 2009 at 4:19 PM

More likely, time for another bout of manufactured outrage. Hmmmm, who to target next?

Those Hollywood denizens are making more than their fair share of money. You think they will fall under Obumbles’ scrutiny?

Yeah, right.

hillbillyjim on March 31, 2009 at 4:26 PM

The FIN’s aren’t meeting and taxpayers are SOBbing.

Note to Ms. Warren: Geithner is da Man, he’s da Genius, he don’t need no oversight, he don’t need no assistants, he don’t need no czar, he don’t need no Congress, he don’t pay no taxes. He do what he wants. Capisci?

Big Brother Barack has spoken. You gotta problem wid dat?

Steve Z on March 31, 2009 at 4:27 PM

Treasury is too busy seeking expanded oversight authority to oversee TARP. Obama is too busy fixing the our financial problems to appoint Treasury staff.

Wait. Something about that sounds illogical…

hawksruleva on March 31, 2009 at 4:27 PM

Every day it seems like disaster is only a foot outside the nation’s door.

Bishop on March 31, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Say – how much money are we saving in empty Treasury seats? I bet we could buy Chrysler for that, once FIAT is done with them.

hawksruleva on March 31, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Grounds for Impeachment.

marklmail on March 31, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Every day it seems like disaster is only a foot outside the nation’s door.

Bishop on March 31, 2009 at 4:28 PM

It is already here, you just aren’t being told : http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6507136891691870450&ei=U1HSSe3fH6PWqAP307i5BA&q=the+creature+from+jekyll+island&hl=en

Constitution1st on March 31, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Say – how much money are we saving in empty Treasury seats? I bet we could buy Chrysler for that, once FIAT is done with them.

hawksruleva on March 31, 2009 at 4:28 PM

It’s not FIAT that matters, but our soon-to-be crashing fiat currency.
“Quantitative easing” = Weimar Republic dollars

TexasJew on March 31, 2009 at 4:32 PM

Federal Reserve Act of 1913…

Constitution1st on March 31, 2009 at 4:24 PM

thanks…. knew about that… but I’m still trying to figure out where someone changed the Constitution to where Treasury, part of the Administration, could do what is a clearly deliniated Power and Responsibility, of the Congress?

Romeo13 on March 31, 2009 at 4:33 PM

She has been saying this from the get-go, but like everyone else who dares question anything negative that could be remotely linked to bobo, she has been ignored.

pcpower1 on March 31, 2009 at 4:34 PM

Never mentioned FINSOB???

Around the White House, that is the pet name for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Among those closest to Obama, it is pronounced “fine S.O.B..”

They are all SOB’s…some just worse than others.

coldwarrior on March 31, 2009 at 4:35 PM

Every day it seems like disaster is only a foot outside the nation’s door.

Bishop on March 31, 2009 at 4:28 PM

And tomorrow it will be 1/2 has close, 1/2 of that the next day, 1/2 of that the next day, etc. So it will never arrive. Everything is good. Carry on.

WashJeff on March 31, 2009 at 4:35 PM

thanks…. knew about that… but I’m still trying to figure out where someone changed the Constitution to where Treasury, part of the Administration, could do what is a clearly deliniated Power and Responsibility, of the Congress?

The answer is here, watch the video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6507136891691870450

Constitution1st on March 31, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Too busy spending the money to stop and see how they are spending the money. Turbo Timmy’s M.O. Too busy spending the tax refunds to stop and see why he got a refund …

canditaylor68 on March 31, 2009 at 4:44 PM

What did Obama say was wrong with guys like Tim Geithner?

Here’s the problem,” Mr. Obama said, “It’s almost like they’ve got — they’ve got a bomb strapped to them and they’ve got their hand on the trigger. You don’t want them to blow up. But you’ve got to kind of talk them, ease that finger off the trigger.”

Oversight is for chumps who don’t hold the fate of the nation in their hands.

econavenger on March 31, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Rather than pass more legislation, let’s have Congress enforce the laws on the books.

Kinda sounds like our borders…………

…………… and look how well that turned out.

Bureaucrats at work ladies and gentlemen…………

………. and some of you want to turn you health care over to them.

Seven Percent Solution on March 31, 2009 at 4:49 PM

We need to demand an answer as to why Geithner and Obama are avoiding oversight through FINSOB.

Answer: Control.

bluelightbrigade on March 31, 2009 at 4:57 PM

Kinda sounds like our borders…………

…………… and look how well that turned out.

The reason they do not enforce our borders is because they are combining Canada, USA and Mexico. Keyword: North American Union

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&safe=off&q=north%20american%20union%20lou%20dobbs&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wv#

Constitution1st on March 31, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Geithner always looks scared sh*tless. I would too.

baldilocks on March 31, 2009 at 5:02 PM

High crimes and misdemeanors yet?

JAM on March 31, 2009 at 5:03 PM

“Rather than pass more legislation, let’s have Congress enforce the laws on the books.”

That would solve about 99% of the problems in the country today.

But then again, that wouldn’t be “change” would it?

notagool on March 31, 2009 at 5:09 PM

This will require sacrifices from all of us. Obama to take tramp steamer to return to U.S. from G20. Geithner arrested for bouncing checks.

Herb on March 31, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Financial SOBs and RATSO Boards, this Administration keeps telegraphing its treachery but most people just whistle past this graveyard.

eaglewingz08 on March 31, 2009 at 5:14 PM

You mean to tell me that Obama’s administration is all show and no go? With all that ‘vast executive experience’?
Nah, couldn’t be. Guess all that talk about “transparency” was, well, transparent.

GarandFan on March 31, 2009 at 5:19 PM

Kinda makes you wonder what Obama and his gang is doing.

Terrye on March 31, 2009 at 5:29 PM

Where oh, where are our government watchdogs, we use to call them the “Press?”

So much for Tess and Pravda! Should have made his slogan “Hype and Change”, it would have been more accurate.

larvcom on March 31, 2009 at 5:57 PM

“Rather than pass more legislation, let’s have Congress enforce the laws on the books. We need to demand an answer as to why Geithner and Obama are avoiding oversight through FINSOB”

Everything is just so perfect for pushing through the massive spending before we know what has hit us and the secrecy is absolutely disgusting!

robin5280 on March 31, 2009 at 6:12 PM

We need to demand an answer as to why Geithner and Obama are avoiding oversight through FINSOB.

Answer: Control.

bluelightbrigade on March 31, 2009 at 4:57 PM

This thread discussion pretty much explains why Geithner needs a lot of heavy curtains and door guards for his planning and decision-making. If McCain were President instead, I admit Phil Gramm would have required a similar “right to privacy” to shield the details behind the massive transfer of wealth from American taxpayer “whiners.”

It’s always better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.

econavenger on March 31, 2009 at 6:13 PM

Until you attend your local tea party on tax day (www.taxdayteaparty.com) this is what WE MUST ALL DO IMMEDIATELY:

** CALL TO ACTION: STOP THE BAILOUTS AND SPENDING **

We MUST act today to contact elected officials in Washington. Please forward this to everyone who will help immediately.

http://www.conservativeoutpost.com/campaign/cta/stop_spending

Follow the instructions. Of course you can contact your congressmen for free but this works well and saves a lot of time if you want to reach more than one by fax (I sent 35 today) which is important to do RIGHT NOW due to how quickly Obama is pushing the spending. We must act JUST AS QUICKLY! Don’t forget thank those who hold strong and do not give in.

robin5280 on March 31, 2009 at 6:16 PM

anyone want to chip in and buy a small island somewhere so we can start over?

jcrue on March 31, 2009 at 6:43 PM

Geitner needs to hang.

Spiritk9 on March 31, 2009 at 6:44 PM

A word of warning: Do not base any of your conclusions on information from administration web sites. Everything on these sites is notoriously out of date. Go to the nominations page at whitehouse.gov, for example — most recent entry is dated Feb. 2. It’s entirely possible that FINSOB has been meeting and they just haven’t posted the meetings.

km on March 31, 2009 at 8:50 PM

Barack Obama, the new Billy Mays!

calguyintexas

Canival barkers, snake oil salesmen and infomercial pitchmen are all offended by that remark, however funny.

SKYFOX on April 1, 2009 at 8:38 AM

Spiritk9 on March 31, 2009 at 6:44 PM

Watch the rhetoric.

DrSteve on April 1, 2009 at 8:48 AM