Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner came under withering fire from Republicans on a House panel Wednesday who said he should have done more about Libor manipulation when he was the New York Federal Reserve president.
Secretary. -- like investors around the world you the secretary of treasury the United States of America you have yet you had the authority for four years to come to us. And lay out the problem and lay out the solutions in for four years you didn't do anything about it. Now the banks may have -- problems and I'm not defending them for one minute but we're looking to the secretary treasury. Not to come in after the fact and do what every other regulator has done and that is to point the finger at someone else you're also comments that when people do wrong things. They should be punished. In the private sector that occur if private bank did something wrong they've been punished in this situation. Hundreds of millions of dollars someone lost their job because of this. When something had to happen on the with the regulators who did something wrong here when something happened the regulators didn't catch this didn't do anything about it didn't change regulations didn't tell you -- -- congress. What they defined what any regulator from the top down lose their jobs -- secretary. Congressman in my judgment. The regulators. Did the necessary appropriate thing in this context and they start that process very early. You feel stronger about -- -- overwhelming I think we didn't. Again what we did in. And again these concerns were in the public domain a -- -- a matter all the friends that Ellis Island -- saying no we did not take respectful responsibility for this. Is that having looked into these concerns. And believe they were problem. We took the initiative. To brief the broader regulatory community. To they had that information -- -- in the press. And we pushed the British to resolve. I'm just taken aback by the fact that there's always so much finger -- by the regulators after the -- but it appears that the early response. Was to keep using it. Which means it appears that you treated it almost as a curiosity. Or something akin to Jay walking as opposed to highway robbery I think I just heard you earlier in your testimony. Say quote unquote it was our best choice. There are other interest rate index is out there how can a number of days you know has been manipulated. How can that possibly be the best choice. -- again we were concerned about this. And we did. The important very consequential thing of bringing it to the attention of the full compliment of regulatory authorities that congress has given responsibility and authority for. Market manipulation and -- end. But you were obligated to use it to New York fed was not obligated to use light or -- -- of of course not but I'm -- but we have to make a basic choice among all terms of that time. Adored my -- that's all -- under the administration President Bush. -- the president's working group to which you recorded with the president function working group that mr. Cox at the SE CMR Paulson. It's better. Do you think the markets would be well served -- individuals. What held liable for criminal activity will say the following. It is very important to this country. That we have in place. A very tough enforcement. So the people who violate the law. Are held accountable. For their actions so that they are not to -- the -- that we are deterring others from engaging at behavior.