Who would have guessed that the ultimate poster child for the Warlord’s miasmic Christian Socialist Authoritarianism might not be Cheney, Addington or Lupus Maximus, but the spastically incompetent Hank Paulson and his retinue of troubled asset relief program (TARP) dwarves?
That’s not to diminish intentional deceptions to wage aggressive war as defined in the Nuremberg indictments. Or the priceless lives obliterated and treasure lost. Or even efforts to topple liberal democracy here at home.
But even by those standards, Hank Paulson towers. A trillion dollars right here, right now or else? Even Cher Condi’s mushroom cloudisms took months. A vague assurance about buying toxic assets (remember that chestnut) jettisoned for direct equity in banks? Perle et al. must be astounded. “You can do that?” And wonder why they didn’t just drive the American Army once it was in Kuwait straight through western Iraq into Syria.
And let’s be clear — Paulson’s cavalier all cash blow outs have been so sloppy, with so little record keeping that Treasury makes Bremer’s CPA look downright obsessive compulsive.
So all the more reason to be glad that the Duma’s belated and timid recollection of its oversight powers is entrusted to a 5 person congressional oversight panel chaired by Harvard’s Liz Warren. Naked Capitalism noted that Liz asks very simple but hard questions:
And lo and behold, the head of the new TARP oversight panel, Elizabeth Warren, says in a very straightforward fashion what any astute reader of the press has discerned, but the media has been unwilling to say: Treasury has been flailing about. If there weren’t such large amounts of money involved, it would be comical.
Yesterday Liz and the oversight board issued their first report. Liz also provided lengthy congressional testimony. She highlighted for Congress that Paulson et al. are still today unable to answer so many basic, simple questions about their use of TARP’s first tranche of $350 billion. It would be insanity to give them the second.
Americans are fortunate that Liz is in this pivotal role. In our experience she is a deeply compassionate soul, blessed with an almost awe inspiring energy and profound intellectual focus and discipline. Her understanding of the financial and bankruptcy markets in the statutory and legal framework is perhaps unsurpassed. Plus she has a great sense of humor.
In the extraordinarily unlikely and in fact inconceivable event that Reid or Pelosi were to do a random web search and find the Bunker, we could think of no better person to chair the congressional oversight panel. She will ensure the panel gathers the complexities (actual and created for smokescreen) and reduce them to their essentials for Congress.
The oversight panel alas is advisory. The Duma still remains the Duma. Which raises the old hoary chestnut — you can lead the Duma to a hearing room, but you can’t necessarily make it oversee.