From the Bevin/Beck interview...
I was not the investment guy, he said, I never bought and sold the securities. So it would have been inappropriate and probably illegal, frankly, for me to have changed the investing commentary written by the sub-adviser the fund who was responsible for that.
I had a fiduciary responsibility as the chairman of this fund company to make sure that I was not perceived in any way, shape or form as having commentary on buy and sell decisions, he said. That was the responsibility of the adviser to the fund. And for me to have meddled in that would have been highly, highly inappropriate and all of these various SarbanesOxley rules among others would have been very much in my grill had I attempted to rewrite or meddle or make the thinking of the actual fund manager that of my own.
Excellent explanation by Bevins, and it comes across clearly as such with no hint of it being a convienient excuse. Not only that it sheds a nice light onto the complexities and burdens created by government overregulation.
But it highlights the challenge with this sort of thing: will the average voter (particularly in the general election) be able to really understand it.
Which does not explain why he did not issue his own letter as President saying he did not personally support TARP; it just explains his reasoning regarding the letter.
I’m not sure I believe that he actually thought that much about the letter at the time.
I remember that Rick Perry fell into a similar problem with TARP because of a letter he wrote. I remember a lot of people here at this site who took quite the opposite position about his explanations of what his letter actually meant.
One thing I’m sure of — the democrats will be quite pleased if we make this election about the opposition to TARP, given that TARP was one of the only things we did in 2008 that actually worked at all. Much better than fighting Obamacare, I’m sure they will agree.