The Treasury Department moved swiftly Monday to implement the financial rescue package, naming a former Goldman Sachs executive to oversee spending the $700 billion earmarked for the plan and pledging to work with other countries to calm global financial markets.
The administration announced it had tapped Neel Kashkari, 35 – an assistant Treasury secretary for international affairs – to head the Treasury's new Office of Financial Stability on an interim basis.
Kashkari helped draft the legislation as one of Treasury Secretary Paulson's close advisers on the crisis. Kashkari joined the government after working at Goldman Sachs, the firm Paulson headed before joining the Bush administration in 2006.
The President's Working Group on Financial Markets, which includes Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, said it would move “with substantial force on a number of fronts” to implement the expanded authorities granted to the government when Congress passed the emergency rescue package last Friday.
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President Bush's top economic advisers also vowed to work with their counterparts around the world to restore confidence and stability to financial markets roiled by tight credit and worries about a global economic slowdown.
Officials made a number of rapid-fire moves Monday in an effort to demonstrate the government would not tarry in implementing the new program.
President Bush, speaking in San Antonio, said the rescue package was designed to unlock the nation's frozen credit markets “to get money moving again” through the economy. But he added, “We don't want to rush into the situation and have the program not be effective.”
In one of the moves Monday, the Treasury Department released a set of guidelines for selecting the financial asset management firms that will run the program and for guarding against conflicts of interest.
The statement from the president's working group laid out a number of initiatives that the Treasury, the Fed and other government regulators including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. would be undertaking.
“The diversity of institutions and markets under stress, and the magnitude and complexity of the adjustment under way, requires that the tools available to policymakers, regulators and supervisors be used in forceful and coordinated ways across regulatory and supervisory agencies in the United States and throughout the world,” the working group said in its statement.