Senate panel backs Treasury's bailout chief

Reuters News
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Posted: May 26, 2011 5:48 PM
Senate panel backs Treasury's bailout chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Senate panel on Thursday approved Timothy Massad to lead the Obama administration's $700-billion bank bailout program and oversee the government's exit from insurer AIG and General Motors Co.

The Senate Banking Committee voted in favor of Massad to serve as the Treasury Department's assistant secretary for financial stability, which is in charge of the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

His nomination now goes to the full Senate for a vote on whether to confirm him.

Massad, a former partner at law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore, started delving into the bailout program as a legal adviser to one of its oversight bodies, the Congressional Oversight Panel. In May 2009, Massad joined the Treasury Department and is currently the agency's acting assistant secretary.

Although the program, known as TARP, has expired, the administration must still unwind its positions in AIG and GM and recoup funds from small banks that were propped up with taxpayer funds during the financial crisis.

Massad is also overseeing the administration's home foreclosure prevention program, designed to help distressed homeowners win lower mortgage payments.

(Reporting by Rachelle Younglai, editing by Diane Craft)