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Hard questions for Tim Geithner

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Dominic Rushe
London Times
Sunday, January 10th, 2010

THE $182.3 billion (€126.5 billion) bailout of AIG is getting more costly by the day for the Obama administration. New revelations last week cast the spotlight back on Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary who played such a vital role in the credit crunch bailouts.

For all the attacks on the bailouts from Obama’s opponents, it’s worth remembering that this is a situation he inherited and the money started flowing under George Bush junior. But Geithner was Hank Paulson’s batman under Bush — so if anyone deserves flak, it’s him.

In late 2008, after helping to light the fire under the biggest destruction of wealth in living memory, AIG managed to fan the flames further when it was revealed the insurer paid a total of $62.1 billion to settle the contracts with investment banks, often paying 100c on the dollar.

Average investors were left to burn but the bankers got their cash back in full. The news came after Uncle Sam had injected $85 billion of taxpayers’ cash into the teetering insurer. That handout has now grown to $182.3 billion.

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This article was posted: Sunday, January 10, 2010 at 6:03 am

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