Geithner knew about the AIG bonuses at least a week earlier than he has admitted:
The question was direct and prescient. Representative Joseph Crowley, Democrat of New York, asked the Treasury secretary in an open hearing what could be done to stop American International Group from paying $165 million in bonuses to hundreds of employees in the very unit that had nearly destroyed the company.
Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary, responded by saying that executive pay in the financial industry had gotten “out of whack” in recent years, and pledged to crack down on exorbitant pay at companies like A.I.G. that were being bailed out with billons of taxpayer dollars.
The exchange took place before the House Ways and Means Committee on March 3 — one week before Mr. Geithner claims he first learned that the failed insurance company was about to pay a round of bonuses that have since caused a political uproar.
(Via the Corner.)
But don’t take the New York Times’s word for it, the C-SPAN video is available on YouTube.
So there are just two possibilities: either Geithner wasn’t listening during the March 3 committee meeting, or his claims not to heard until March 10 are a fabrication. Fool or liar, take your pick.
POSTSCRIPT: The straw I think Geithner will grasp is this: Geithner says he didn’t know the “full extent” until March 10. Although Crowley told Geithner enough, Geithner will say that Crowley didn’t tell him the full extent. Geithner spoke the literal truth, he will argue. But the literal truth can still be a lie, when fashioned to deceive. Geithner’s clear and deliberate implication was that he didn’t know enough to act, which we now know is false.