Geithner's Understaffed Treasury Is Stalled

Geithner's undermanned department struggles to execute plans
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2009 5:56 AM CDT
Tim Geithner listens at a news conference at the Treasury Department in Washington, Tuesday, May 12, 2009.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Nearly two months ago the Treasury announced it was booting Rick Wagoner as CEO of General Motors. But he's still technically on the payroll—because Treasury officials continue to debate whether he should receive the $20 million severance package he was promised. It's only one of many key decisions that have been put on hold at Tim Geithner's overstressed, understaffed Treasury, reports the Washington Post.

Vacancies at the top of the Treasury are holding up major initiatives, including cleaning up toxic assets and expanding credit for small businesses. But a personnel shortage isn't the only problem; frequent White House intervention has confused traditional roles, and several officials say Geithner has yet to define the responsibilities of his top advisers. "Tim's nature is to be very inclusive," said one, "but there are too many decisions to make with 20 guys around his table."