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Former Treasury Official Releases Tell-All

A former senior Treasury Department official is shedding light into the Bush administration's response to the financial crisis. In a 50 page report published as part of the Brookings Institution's Panel on Economic Activity, Philip Swagel, who was assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy from 2006 until January 20, 2009, argues that political and legal constraints hemmed in the Treasury's response more than many commentators have acknowledged.

He has criticism for the Paulson Treasury as well, though, writing that there was "chronic disorganization within the Treasury itself, and a broadly haphazard policy process within the Administration" including sometimes strained relations between the Treasury and Bush White House.

The report can be found here.

--Neil Irwin

By Sara Goo  |  April 2, 2009; 4:31 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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Comments

The first part of the report totally ignores the fact that in times of crises or emergency a President can issue an Executive Order to do practically anything.

President Nixon issued an Executive Order to freeze all wages and prices in the United States for 3 months.

The continuous chant that in the emergency, government official could do nothing except the actions that were taken is ludicrous.

Posted by: bsallamack | April 2, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

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