Friday, November 21, 2008
The Nov. 13 front-page story "Bailout Lacks Oversight Despite Billions Pledged" could be read to mean that I was referring to the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or its oversight plan, as "a mess." That was not meant as my assessment of Treasury's efforts to execute the TARP or the current oversight of that program.
The word "mess" was a description of the difficulty my office would have in providing the proper level of oversight of the TARP while handling its growing workload, including conducting audits of certain failed banks and thrifts at the same time that efforts are underway to nominate a special inspector general.
That is a very important distinction. The Treasury secretary and his TARP team have been cooperative and responsive in providing my office with whatever briefings and information we have required.
It does not detract from my office's independence to state that I have the greatest respect for the leadership team here at the Treasury Department and have stated that often. No one should assume otherwise.
ERIC M. THORSON