From the FT piece linked in the update:
...Mr Geithner’s sketchy plan raised suspicions of internal disagreement over the bail-out. Officials strongly deny those rumours, particularly any hint of divergence between Lawrence Summers, the head of the White House National Economic Council, and Mr Geithner, a former protégé of Mr Summers – though some acknowledge differences between the government and independent agencies involved in the process.Bush-appointed FDIC head Sheila Bair is necessarily the only culprit, but she is an obvious one. This is worse than a leftist cabal. It's a compassionate conservative who cares about The Children.
Bair has essentially no private-sector experience. Apparently she views her agency, which is independent, as having powers which parallel some of the Treasury Department's functions. She gets fawning write-ups in the liberal media:
The high-ranking government official most likely to attack Obama's economic policies from the left is ... a Republican?I take it as a contrarian indicator that Larry "Goldilocks Economy" Kudlow likes her.
To be fair, Bair spotted the housing trouble in late 2007, but her proposed solution was to have ARM teaser rates be made permanent. Unsurprisingly, the banks were not enthusiastic. (And lots of people saw the problem looming. Bair's approach, arguably, is to demagogue the situation and grab for power that she seems unqualified to wield.)
No worries, though. According to the Examiner piece linked in the previous paragraph:
Bair, though, said she remains "very much a capitalist."For more reassurance, let's hear Obama say that he remains very much committed to holding elections in 2010 and 2012...