Newly published meeting logs from the Treasury Department show that Jamie Dimon, CEO of embattled JPMorgan & Chase, had a private audience with Secretary Timothy Geithner to discuss the Volcker rule and other issues on March 6.
The logs also show that JPMorgan executives attended two other meetings that same month. Volcker was also on the table at another Treasury session the same day, this one a larger meeting with Deputy Assistant Secretary Lance Auer that also included representatives with other groups such as Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs.
The day before, JPMorgan representatives were also present at another group meeting ...Continue reading
Facing a battle with the Peruvian government over a smelting operation that has caused severe environmental damage to a town... View ArticleContinue reading
Felix Salmon, finance blogger extraordinare, was inspired by some reporting by Bloomberg to have a look at Treasury's website. Apparently Tim Geithner visited Jon Stewart back in April, and Felix was understandably interested in seeing the evidence for himself. He went to the Treasury website, and then... well, things took a turn for the worse:
First, you go to the Treasury homepage. Then you ignore all of the links and navigation, and go straight down to the footer at the very bottom of the page, where there’s a link saying FOIA. Click on that, and then on the link saying Electronic Reading Room. Once you’re there, you want Other Records. Where, finally, you can see Secretary Geithner’s Calendar April – August 2010.
Be careful clicking on that last link, because it’s a 31.5 MB file, comprising Geithner’s scanned diary. Search for “Stewart” and you won’t find anything, because what we’re looking at is just a picture of his name as it’s printed out on a piece of paper.
In other words, these diaries, posted for transparency, are about as opaque as it can get. Finding the file is very hard, and then once you’ve found it, it’s even harder to, say, count up the number of phone calls between Geithner and Rahm Emanuel. You can’t just search for Rahm’s name; you have to go through each of the 52 pages yourself, counting every appearance manually.
Is this really how Obama’s web-savvy administration wants to behave? The Treasury website is still functionally identical to the dreadful one we had under Bush, and we’ve passed the midterm elections already. I realize that Treasury’s had a lot on its plate these past two years, but much more transparent and usable website is long overdue.
This all sounds sadly familiar to me. I still remember when Treasury started posting TARP disbursement reports as CSVs instead of PDFs. I was working on Subsidyscope at the time, and had to load those reports on a weekly basis. It's more than a little sad how much better my life got when they made that change.
But I think it's important to note that Felix's frustration isn't just the product of bad technology.Continue reading
If ever we saw the fruits, and possibilities, of disclosure and transparency, it is in this New York Times profile... View ArticleContinue reading
Apparently, Geithner did it too. (Previous Dodd did it post here.) As this episode illustrates, there ought to be a better way of tracking whose fingerprints--those of members of Congress, administration officials, lobbyists--are on which parts of what bills.Continue reading
As the bailouts mount serious questions remain about the future formation of the economy and the government. These questions revolve... View ArticleContinue reading
Just yesterday, I was posting about restricting TARP firms from using funds for political influence. Today, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner... View ArticleContinue reading
It's old news now: yesterday, President-elect Barack Obama announced he was picking Timothy Geithner, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as his Treasury Secretary.
Geithner's New York Fed, according to Bloomberg.com, has been "accepting [securities from banks] on behalf of American taxpayers as collateral for $1.5 trillion of loans. (Bear in mind that link is several weeks old, and, due to rounding and additional bailouts, may be off by a trillion dollars or two).
Bloomberg filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act for documents related to that $1.5 trillion ...Continue reading