WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) – Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said on Thursday that he had no choice but to pay top dollar to business partners of troubled insurer AIG to avert a deeper financial panic last year.
Geithner defended regulators' actions to prop up American International Group (AIG, Fortune 500) with $62.1 billion that was essentially funneled to 16 banks that were counterparties to AIG insurance contracts.
"I don't understand why this is so complicated," Geithner told the Congressional Oversight Panel at a hearing on Capitol Hill. "You either prevent default, because default would be cataclysmic – or you don't. If you selectively default on any, the thing will come crashing down."
Wonder if Geithner ever paid his taxes.
Shhhhh! Don't wake up the Republicans. They have offered NO alternatives, have lied through their teeth at every opportunity, and their hypocrisy shows in startling contrast to the Democrats doing their best to turn around our disaster of a Health Care System.
Lies at every opportunity seems to be the new Republican way.
Turbo Tax cheat Geithner..................I can't respect a word this tax evading weasel has to say. How can this man tell us to pay our taxes when he doesn't pay his. Another fine appointee by the Obama administration.
Not a single soul can say that by not bailing out AIG this nation's economy would be better. The fact is that we bailed out this giant and avoided an economic depression.
Geithner has failed us repeatedly. He should be ousted immediately.
I agree that it was important at the time, but Regulation was left out so it was a waste of Taxpayers money. The very people that made bad Business decisions rewarded themselves with huge bonuses. Bush just looked the other way. SO SAD!!!
...so says (Turbo-) Tax Cheat Tim Geithner.
I wouldn't take this man's advice in buying a used car, let alone advising on bailouts.
One and Done.
Four and the Door.
A single term and nothing more.
Defend it all you want, we're not buying it. And the only thing I find "complicated" is the fact you didn't pay your taxes and I, among millions, are paying the salary of a tax cheat.
Geithner needs to be arrested for theft by swindle. He was in charge of the oversight(which he failed to do), then he gives our taxpayer money to his wallstreet buddies.
We need to audit the Federal reserve to see just how crooked this whole ponzi scheme is.
AIG is the insurer of big insurance companies that Republicans support and the Republicans certainly shouldn't have one complaint.
this guy belongs in jail...PERIOD......
The federal government now owns 80% of AIG. That is socialism, you can't deny it!!! It rewards failure.
Geithner had no choice but to pay off AIG? One has to ask why? What exactly is the connection with AIG and the Democrats, and exactly why are they compelled to spend OUR money to a failing company that is as irresponsible with money as the Democrats themselves.
I wonder what Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's personal financial connection is with AIG?
Let's let the AIG executives decide their own bonuses, dare them to dream big, and then give them whatever they want, courtesy of the American taxpayer.
You know im a conservative and I don't blame this guy. There wasn't a lot of time to save our financial system from the housing bust and having the perfect plan wasn't going to happen.
Now Obama's continued non stop spending that's another story.
The only reason AIG was in that position was because of Freddie and Fannie. The government had to bail them out because they caused it in the first place.
Geithner has no clue about how to do his job all he knows is spend more money and put the government and America further in debt.
This guy is a poor excuse for a treasure secretary. But what do you expect from someone who couldn't figure his own tax bill or maybe he could and just thought he could get by with it. Come to think of it he did he got appointed to a cabinet post. Pathetic.
If B of A can pay back their loans, why can't AIG? Oh yeah, they gave it to all the geniuses in bonus money so they could retain them. Brilliant Gaithner, now go home, you're fired. What a joke. And you think the government can run health care? Certainly not.
If anyone wants to really know what is going on here check out Matt Taibbi (hardly a coservative writer) in Rolling Stone (hardly a conservative magazine). Once your eyes have been opened to Geitner and his cronies and what happened to your tax dollars (those of us that work and pay taxes anyway) you will totally understand how this administration views capitalism. Check it out for true enlightenment.
Geithner said ""I don't understand why this is so complicated." If he doesn't understand it then he needs to find another line of work. It's complicated because crooks made it complicated. The entire gang needs to tarred and feathered and run out of town and given at no charge to Iran.
With total default looming, it seems as though the Treasury would have had the upper hand at the bargaining table with AIG counterparties to negotiate percentage-on-he dollar settlements. Most of the banks and counterparties were not US corporations, so the real taxpayer protection went overseas. AIG has still never been held accountable for the risks they took in the financial marketplace...with their investors, stockholders, or the government, and they are still paying out huge contractual bonuses even though they are only solvent because of a taxpayer bailout.
Probably because they are stupid repos and don't get it.
Secretary Tim Geithner is a smart guy! He knows what he is talking about!! politicians just bark no thinking!!. Sir, keep on doing what you are doing and within acouple of months the economy will start booming again!!!