O'Neill on Bush: He Doesn't Get It, and 'It Shows'

Former treasury chief says leaders are acting out of 'panic'
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2008 11:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Former Treasury chief Paul O'Neill doesn't have a lot of confidence in the ability of his old boss to find a financial solution, ABC News reports. “I don’t think he understands or knows much about any of this and it shows,” O’Neill said of President Bush. He said the president and other leaders are in a “panic” and acting rashly by rushing the bailout plan. "It is possible to re-liquefy the credit system without ‘We the People’ owning $700 billion worth of homes,” O’Neill said.

O’Neill would like to see the government insure the mortgage-backed securities weighing on the system rather than owning a vast number of foreclosed properties. O’Neill did not express confidence in the future of American leadership, either: “I think most of what has been said by both campaigns about economic stuff is ill-informed and ill-advised." He did praise Henry Paulson, but O'Neill suggested that he could have fixed the problem 2 years ago were he still in office.  (Read more Paul O'Neill stories.)

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