Geithner needs help, Volcker says

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Timothy Geithner, victim?

Paul Volcker, the chairman of President Obama‘s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, told Congress today that it was ‘shameful’ that the Treasury secretary lacked critical support staff as he tries to map out the financial-system rescue.

From ABC News’ Political Punch blog:

‘There is an area that I think is, I don’t know, shameful is the word,’ Paul Volcker said this morning at a Joint Economic Committee hearing. ‘The secretary of the Treasury is sitting there without a deputy, without any undersecretaries, without any, as far as I know, assistant secretaries responsible in substantive areas at a time of very severe crisis. He shouldn’t be sitting there alone.’ ‘Now various things have contributed to this, I guess, including vetting procedures, but it really is an unfortunate situation.’

Vipal Monga at writes:


The problem appears to be that political considerations have impeded those appointments. ‘It’s all being bottled up at the White House,’ says our source, noting that the Obama administration is wary of nominating too many staffers with close ties to Wall Street. This is a difficult task, because few outside Wall Street have the expertise needed to grapple with the complex issues raised by the rescue, but the administration finds itself in a box. After all, it has instituted a tough ethics policy, which limits departmental contact with lobbyists and industry insiders.

In a nation of tens of thousands of brilliant B-school MBAs, can’t we find Tim Geithner some help -- and preferably, people who aren’t under grand jury investigation for mortgage or securities fraud?

-- Tom Petruno