We expected a LIBOR flip-out from Democrats like Maxine Waters or Barney Frank, but we did not expect a it from a Republican like New Jersey’s Scott Garrett.
As usual, Geithner took his lashing like a man, but he had to have been a little surprised.
The rate fixing scandal has been a hot topic during Geithner’s testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, but most anger has been directed at bankers, the British etc.
Garrett’s anger was different.
Why? Because he was most upset that Geithner had four years, and meeting after meeting, to bring the LIBOR issue to Congress’ attention and it just wasn’t done.
“You keep saying… we’re just like investors. Well you’re not! You’re the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States. You have the authority to do something about this.”
Geithner said that he briefed the broader regulatory community about the problem — which only made Garrett more angry.
“There’s always so much finger-pointing by regulators after the fact,” he said. Then he jumped on Geithner for not informing the Justice Department “simply because they weren’t at the table.”
Not a good day for Tim.