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House Hammers Treasury On Bailout Accountability

Treasury official Neel Kashkari, the $700 Billion Man, the guy charged with handing out the federal bailout, is before the House Financial Services committee today evidently to try to convince lawmakers that the bailout is working and that it's being run well, despite the conclusions of an oversight panel report out today.

Looks like it's going to be another beat-down.

"We've been lied to," Rep. Davis Scott (D-Ga.). "We've been bamboozled. What we have here is one big mess."

"It was difficult to have oversight when the overseerers did not exist," Rep. Paul Kanjorsky (D-Penn.) said. "Treasury must improve its communications with both the Congress and the public."

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said that unless she gets some assurances from Kashkari today, she'll introduce a bill that would require Treasury to rework troubled mortgages based on FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair's plans.

"We sit here twiddling our thumbs trusting Treasury to do what it's going to do," Waters said. "You have allowed them to walk all over us," Waters said to committee chairman Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said she would join Waters's FDIC bill.

Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) drew the important distinction between reality and perception.

"We live in a world where it’s not enough for things to be right but they also have to look right," Green said. "It may have been right to convince the American public that we would spend $700 billion on mortgage-backed securities...but it doesn't look right when that kind of course change takes place without a clear and concise explanation of why that happened."

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  December 10, 2008; 11:03 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Neel Kashkari, Treasury, bailout  
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