Volcker: ‘Shameful’ That Treasury is Understaffed

Feb 26, 2009 11:51am

ABC News’ Matt Jaffe reports:

Sounding off on hiring problems that we reported earlier this week, a leading economic adviser to President Obama today said it was "shameful" that the "weak" Treasury Department is so understaffed that Secretary Tim Geithner is "sitting there alone".

"There is an area that I think is, I don’t know, shameful is the word," Paul Volcker said this morning at a Joint Economic Committee hearing. "The Secretary of the Treasury is sitting there without a deputy, without any undersecretaries, without any, as far as I know, assistant secretaries responsible in substantive areas at a time of very severe crisis. He shouldn’t be sitting there alone."

Volcker is chair of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

"Now various things have contributed to this, I guess, inlcuding vetting procedures, but it really is an unfortunate situation."

Volcker, former chair of the Federal Reserve, said that the Treasury has been "weakened" in recent years.

"It deserves some attention and rebuilding and new strength," he said.

"You can’t be the leading economic power in the world with all the problems we have and have a weak Treasury," Volcker stated.

– Matt Jaffe

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