March 21st, 2009
12:00 PM ET
4 years ago

AIG blowback puts Geithner in a pickle

Tim Geithner is facing what President Obama called the toughest challenges of any Treasury secretary since Alexander Hamilton.
Tim Geithner is facing what President Obama called the toughest challenges of any Treasury secretary since Alexander Hamilton.

(CNN) – Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner sat alone at the witness table answering questions and getting an earful from a panel of senators.

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, cautioned Geithner that Americans were crazy angry about corporate bailouts.

"I have never - in the 22 years I've been here, I've never seen such anger, with the sense of betrayal, that people in positions of responsibility took advantage of them," said Conrad. "The outrage of people cannot be dismissed."

That was on March 12. It turns out, the next day was when American International Group would award $165 million in bonuses to some 400 employees.

Over the past week, Congress turned the anger over AIG into legislation. The House rushed through a bill to tax bonuses, and the Senate made a similar proposal.

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Filed under: AIG • Tim Geithner
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. abraxis

    Geithner messed up! Remember, however, he messed up on trying to clean up the Republican's mess.

    Boehner and all other Repug leaders seemed to have forgotten that it was under their watch that this mess got worse.

    March 21, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  2. catmom

    While I am a President Obama supporter, I do think that Geithner has to go. He has no credibility and will never be effective with Wall Street and the ever hating Republicans. I just hope President Obama doesn't take a page from the Bush book on holding on to someone despite the harm he is doing. Have him work behind the scenes if necessary but he is doing more harm than good.

    March 21, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  3. no more bailouts

    go back to school and learn some other methods of economics

    March 21, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. John G

    Poor Geithner! If he were qualified for his position he would have done it right but he's not so we shouldn't hold it against him!

    March 21, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. vic nashville,Tn

    Is that change we need !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 21, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. Steven Chung

    regardless of who's fault it is, it doesn't help the situation if you continue to blame it on other people.

    March 21, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. ng in dc

    Let this man do his job. It's the politicians who are in his way.

    March 21, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. Tom in Delaware

    Let the resignations begin with Geithner and continue with members of the House and Senate that are so 'outraged', and back to the rest of the Aministration that played a hand in it.

    Show some real responsibility and accountability instead of simply talking about it.

    I tired of the excuses and equivocations from the Left....time to 'Man Up'.

    March 21, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. Brown

    Are we really going to accept pinning this AIG mess on Geithner, a man who has been on the job for 8 weeks. Stay Strong Geithner, don't let the blame for the AIG bailout fall on your shoulders. You didn't create this mess.

    March 21, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. Albert

    Did President Obama know anything about the bonus when the amendment was signed?

    He said " I will take the responsibility", then what? The American taxpayers deserves a clear explanation and what Obama has said all the time about "Transparency".

    March 21, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. Pat

    when did the republicans turn into Monday morning quarteracks?
    Jeez – give the man some time to get things straight. After all he has to clean up the mess of 8 years.
    The ones screaming the loudest now were the ones that voted against checks and balances before.

    March 21, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  12. Shannon

    It's nice to always blame someone else. remember, if you weren't up to the task, you shouldn't have taken the job. I'm so tired of already hearing about the previous administration. It's only a valid excuse for so long.

    March 21, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The Republicans and some Democrat leaders are going to find themselves in a worst mess if they don't go on a fact finding mission regarding this AIG mess. The stage is set, just sit back listen and watch.

    March 21, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. HelloooOOOOO

    it really doesnt make "any" difference who did what when etc..it is CONGRESS who makes the decisions about what to give who..not OBAMA, he just signs final bill, or Geither, who trys to get things right to "present" to CONGRESS..if we want to complain, how about complaining to the RIGHT people !

    March 21, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. independent in CO

    Audit the fed have your congress critter support HR1207.

    March 21, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. thomas

    AIG is the problem, not Geithner. Focus people, focus. AIG was stone that brought down the temple and now it is time to let it go. You cannot preserve that which never existed. – razicudlo

    March 21, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Angie

    Geithner is qualified to do the job. Mr Geithner, just take this position less than two month ago,I am shame of you people will not give him a chance. The former administration made a mess and no one complain but every one is complain know. I think some of you could learn a lesson from other country ,to be patient and give people a chance. Shame, Shame, Shame.

    March 21, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. Happy with new President

    Go, Geithner, fight for something that's right!
    Remember, Obama is fighter, too! Even you made a mistake, don't give up! We can, and will still support you!
    Go, go, go!

    March 21, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. Blame Game

    Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, cautioned Geithner that Americans were crazy angry about corporate bailouts.Conrad you speak for yourself .......Americans
    are upset .... you are Crazy and Angry***Hopefully Geithner will not sit there and let you GUYS talk to him like you talk to Liddy .....It was very distasteful.....it was not what you said but the way you said it ......Shouting and pointing your finger .....like scolding a child..... If you talk to Geithner that way hopefully he will get up and Grab both ankles and Pat his B## at all you low down dirty Crazy Angry Guys
    This is Bigger Than Geithner.......By the way Hank Paulson got a free ride!!!! Have you forgotten about Dodd???

    March 21, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. DawnS

    So the tax cheat told another lie. Why would we expect a tax cheat to do otherwise? Geithner has been in the center of the Wall Street mess since it started. For him to plead ignorance is outrageous, and for people to continue to say it is Bush's mess when Geithner was the Chaiman of the New York Fed is absurd.

    March 21, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. The Ghost.

    While in College, you also have to be prepared to work: Part-Time after College hrs...

    March 21, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. jeff

    I would suggest that all the big companies move out of the country is that what they want. we are the highest taxed country when it comes to companies and that is why they are moving out so they dont have to deal with this crap. we are going to punish companies who fix the problem and tax them... what the heck is wrong with you people do we really need more companies to let people go which will happen with this tax are not enough of us out of work or do we just want to live in the hope that the administration can change "yes we can" i got news for you not with this crew

    March 21, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |