Barney Frank defends FDIC Sheila Bair against the ‘Old Boys Club’

Barney Frank (D-MA) has discovered an Old Boys Club and he is calling them to the carpet..


Tim Geithner has apparently decided to make a power move and try to force out Sheila Bair, the current head of the FDIC who is slated to hold that role until 2011. One of the reasons her role (as well as head of the FED Bernanke), goes 2 years beyond our POTUS elections, is for continuity, but Tim, (who was in the room for such great masterpieces as the AIG nightmare and the decision to allow Lehman to fail), wants to push her out now…

from Bloomberg: …Timothy Geithner, President-elect Barack Obama’s choice for U.S. Treasury Secretary, is seeking to push Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair out of office.

Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, has argued Bair isn’t a team player and is too focused on protecting her agency rather than the financial system as a whole, according to two congressional officials and a person familiar with his thinking. Bair has battled with Geithner and fellow regulators over aid to Citigroup Inc. and other emergency actions, making her enemies in the Bush administration…

Sheila Bair is covered extensively in another piece we did here

Sheila has been pushing for immediate action on her FDIC loan modification plan, and several Congress Critters are in her corner, and challenged Kashkari and Paulson to enact her recommended plan at the last series of hearings.

Bair, a staunch proponent of using TARP funds for foreclosure mitigation, has been under fire from the Bush Administration and Hank Paulson for pushing her plan forward. She has been invited to testify before Congress directly, when Paulson and Bernacke failed to bring her along themselves to discuss TARP.

Maxine Waters D-CA, Barney Frank, Nydia Velazquez D-NY in particular all noted that Sheila has a plan and Treasury and the Fed are refusing to enact it while housing continues to tank…(as I speak I hear Cramer on CNBC saying Bair needs to stay in and Tim is wrong wrong wrong (caveat Cramer didnt like Geithner for the Treasury role)

So here is a toast to Barney Frank, the Chair of the House Financial Services Cmte, who today gave a speech decrying Geithner’s apparent calls for Sheila Bair’s replacement (and discovered the Old Boys Club operating under his nose, this one is for the No Shxt Sherlock files)

We have already gone over Ms Bair’s incredible resume and her dedication to what is best for the economy and the consumer, and her sheer GRIT in pushing the agenda forward against all odds.

Today, Barney Frank came right out and pushed for Bair to not only hold her post thru 2011 as she is slated to do (she has offered to step aside should Obama want to replace her) but that she should in fact stay on beyond that date and be given a larger portfolio. RIGHT ON!! Politico has the scoop:

…Congressional Democrats — Frank first among them — on the other hand have heaped praise on Bair, a Republican, for her advocacy of foreclosure prevention, which she distilled into a proposal to use taxpayer money to refinance more than a million troubled mortgages. She has suggested that some of the $700 billion be used to fund her plan.

Needless to say, any decisions regarding Bair’s career that are seen as punitive could hurt Geithner — and Obama — on the Hill at a time when congressional cooperation is desperately needed to quickly move Obama’s economic proposals once he takes office.

Frank credited the current resistance to doing more about foreclosures to ruffled male feathers. “I think part of the problem now is that, to be honest, Shelia Bair has annoyed the Old Boys Club.” He likened the situation to several regulators “up in the treehouse with a ‘No Girls Allowed’ sign.”

Bair should retain her FDIC post in the Obama administration and even be given a “broader role in helping to formulate policy on mortgage foreclosures,” Frank told reporters after his speech.

As for how Obama is handling things, Frank went one step farther and said he needs to take a more FIRM stance NOW:

…Voicing his well-known frustration with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and other officials for resisting calls to use funds from the $700 billion bailout package to combat foreclosures, Frank said lawmakers are being told that the back-and-forth consultations with the Obama transition team has delayed consideration of such actions.

“I’m a great fan of the president-elect, but I think it’s probably the case that he’s going to have to be more assertive than he’s been,” Frank said, addressing the Consumer Federation of America’s annual financial services conference. “And I know what he says is ‘Well, we only have one president at a time. My problem is, at a time of great crisis and [massive] mortgage foreclosures. … I am afraid that overstates the number of presidents.”..


December 4, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Cabinet, Economy, FDIC, Finance, Foreclosures, Housing, Obama Administration, Politics, TARP, Wall St. 10 comments.

Market Update: BIG 3 Reprise on the Hill….LIVE testimony..

UPDATE 3: 3:36pm EST: 24 mins to the closing bell and the markets are down sharply. DOW down 302 to 8289; NAS down 65 to 1427 and S&P down 36 to 824. The autos are off a cliff since the negative tone of the Banking Cmte and tomorrow’s November jobs report is expected to be an utterly unmitigated disaster (that is my expectation anyway HA!). GM is down 17% now and bringing the DOW down with it… perhaps the Congress will get the message from the markets..10 yr at 2.54 50 YR LOWS….safety play still intact…

Killing the patient to save them? Robert Bennett R-UT actually suggested a FORCED merger b/w GM and Chrysler, and interestingly EVERY GOP Senator on that CMTE had the INSIDE info on the PRIVATE CONFIDENTIAL negotiations that were held last month b/w GM and Chrysler which GM pulled out of..I thought these guys didn’t like ‘socialist’ govt interventions? Now they want to write the terms of a shotgun wedding? Then Bob Corker R-TN just finished up by suggesting wage caps be a part of the deal..uhm hellooo free markets remember GOP, I thought they ABHORRED Nixonian experimentation with price controls?? I guess it is okay when they are putting the brakes on labor, pardon the pun…

Tomorrow, Part Deux when this panel appears before the House Cmte, and the BIG JOBS NUMBER tomorrow morning (cue sounds of Dragnet theme here)…


December 4, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Big 3, Economy, Finance, Obama Administration, Politics, TARP, Wall St. 3 comments.

%d bloggers like this: