As we sit here today, Wall Street continues to exploit a policy of government-sponsored giveaways and secrecy to pay themselves billions. Record-setting bonuses due to banks like Goldman Sachs as early next week.
Yet instead of acting as our cop, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has become central to what may be a cover-up of the greatest theft in U.S. history.
Here is the evidence.
COUNT 1: The AIG e-mails: Recently-released e-mails show Geithner's New York Federal Reserve Bank directing AIG to keep details of the 100-cents-on-the-dollar bailout secret in 2008 — a reversal of the traditional role of government, which is to force companies to become more transparent, not less.
A Treasury spokeswoman says: "Secretary Geithner played no role in these decisions and indeed, by November 24, he was recused from working on issues involving specific companies, including AIG."
Friday, the White House also defended the Treasury Secretary:
Gibbs: These decisions did not rise to his level at the fed.
CNN's Ed Henry: How do you know that he wasn't involved? He was the leader of the New York Fed.
Gibbs: Right, but he wasn't on the emails that have been talked about and wasn't party to the decision that was being made.
He wasn't party to a decision to hide $62 billion dollar payouts to firms that became insolvent during his 5-year watch at the New York Fed?
Congressman Darrell Issa speculates that perhaps Geithner wasn't on the e-mails in question because his people felt so strongly they already knew their boss's intentions that they didn't feel the need to bother him with the details.
COUNT 2: He wasn't even a regulator! In Geithner's own words during confirmation hearings in March: "First of all, I've never been a regulator...I'm not a regulator." According to the New York fed bank's Web site, that was your job!!
Quoting from the Fed's website: "As part of our core mission, we supervise and regulate financial institutions in the Second District." That district of course is the epicenter for bailed out banks and billion dollar bonuses.
Count 3: "The Christmas Eve Taxpayer Massacre." As you were wrapping those last presents, Geithner's Treasury Department lifted the $400 billion cap on taxpayer responsibility for potential losses for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The new cap? Unlimited taxpayer funds! Interesting timing, Christmas Eve, Tim? Still no word on recovering the hundreds of millions paid to the CEOs who created this mess.
COUNT 4: He's too cozy with certain banks. Remember those call logs when he first started — 80 contacts with Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and CitiGroup CEOs in just 7 months! But Bank of America's CEO only got three calls. Apparently Bank of America is not one of Geithner's favorites, especially when you consider that there are still many unanswered questions about Tim Geithner's role in threatening to fire Bank of America management if they didn't go through with a deal to buy Merrill lynch.
COUNT 5: TARP Special Investigator Neil Barofsky's report says Geithner's New York Fed overpaid the big banks through AIG by billions of dollars. Geithner says it had to be done. Maybe so, maybe not, but this takes us to our final point.
Since then, the Treasury Secretary has yet to really prove whose side he's on — the Wall Street big wigs or the American taxpayer? Here's the litmus test: Mr. Geithner, show us the past ten years of AIG e-mails or step down so that we can get somebody who will. A crime has been committed against the American taxpayer and right now you are standing at the door of the crime scene refusing to let anyone in.
Show us you're not involved Mr. Geithner, prove the White House correct in defending you. All we are asking for is the transparency promised by the president you serve.
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