Frank Back on Top

Last month I noted an unusual exchange Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank had with Treasury Secretary Paulson regarding the use of the first $350,000,000,000 (that’s billion, for the comma challenged) authorized under the now well known TARP legislation.

The crux of Representative Frank’s concern was that Secretary Paulson was not predisposed to spend the TARP funds as the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee saw fit. Rather, Paulson, in fluent bureaucratic dialect, told Frank to stick it. Perhaps uncharacteristically (but who is to say?) Frank disavailed himself of this suggestion and today he set out the terms under which he would submit (link requires registration) to release of the remaining $350 billion:

“We’ll also need — and have been talking to – [Treasury] Secretary-to-be [Tim] Geithner,” he said. “We’ll need the President-to-be to say that he supports it, so that he’ll abide by it, so those conversations are going on,” Rep. Frank said. “It’s going to mean foreclosure relief and help for freeing up automobile credit; getting real lending from the banks — that’s what we are working on and we’ll have that out on Friday.”

So “President-to-be” Obama (which begs the question, “to-be” what?) has his orders from Representative Frank which will be released on Friday. One wonders that if Chairman Frank is addressing in such a manner the already elected President, what must he be saying to the Obama nominated Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, who must still make his way through confirmation hearings?

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