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Superintendent Richard H. Neiman's Opening Comments at Congressional Oversight Panel Hearing with Assistant Treasury Secretary Herb Allison

Opening Statement - Richard H. Neiman   Member, Congressional Oversight Panel

June 24, 2009

Good afternoon.  Assistant Secretary Allison, I am very pleased to have you here with us today to share your perspective on the future of the Troubled Asset Relief Program and to discuss how you will leverage your expertise and experience to ensure success.

It is critical for us to be having this dialogue now, at the very start of your term. Therefore, the Panel members will be making abbreviated opening statements, to reserve more time for questions.

We would rather hear from you, than have you hear from us. Congress, this Panel, and the public will benefit from a fuller presentation of your vision for achieving financial stability. You are bringing uniquely relevant experience from your management at Fannie Mae and TIAA-CREF, as well as a fresh perspective at the appropriate time.

I watched your confirmation hearing with particular interest, and I was very encouraged by the importance you placed on transparency, especially your three-fold pledge that:

 “…Congress and the American people will know what we are doing with their money, why we are doing it, and how it is making a difference in our economy.” 

I should warn that you I plan on holding you to this!

And, I am especially interested in exploring your views on three key topics: 1) preventing foreclosures, 2) metrics for measuring success, and 3) the intersection between TARP policies and wider regulatory reform issues. There are also further avenues in state-federal cooperation, and I hope that you will never hesitate to suggest new ideas or find ways to improve- even if that means stepping on a few toes to get the right result.

I realize that we can only scratch the surface in our brief time together this afternoon. But I believe these hearings are vital and must become a regular occurrence. I thank you for your appearance today, and look forward to a lively discussion.

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