In the first watchdog criticism of the Obama administration's handling of the financial bailout, the head of a congressional oversight panel said the new Treasury Department plan "lacks crucial details," especially about how it will treat toxic securities held by banks.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, like his predecessor Henry Paulson, has failed to articulate a clear strategy for the $700 billion rescue, said Elizabeth Warren, head of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The bailout is now called the Financial Stability Plan.
"These general frameworks do not provide an adequate foundation to oversee Treasury's activities or to measure the success of the TARP or the stability plan," Ms. Warren, a Harvard Law professor, told the House Financial Services subcommittee on oversight today.
A Treasury spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ms. Warren's criticism of the new Treasury plan's lack of specificity echoed that voiced by a number of analysts and economists after Mr. Geithner's Feb. 10 presentation.
Still, Ms. Warren's remarks carry extra heft because she is a consumer advocate appointed by congressional Democrats. Her criticism of Mr. Paulson's handling of the bailout had been withering.