Posted by: samhenry | August 26, 2009

Barney Frank preparing to Nationalize the US Financial Industry

VotingFemale // August 26, 2009 at 2:21 pm

well well well… The Socialists are very busy building their next Communist ASSAULT on America.

Barney Frank preparing to Nationalize the US Financial Industry

These MOONBATS are not quiting… and Barney “The Banking Queen” Frank is organismic over the prospect of being the Government Queen of a Government Take over of Banks…

Frank focused on reshaping US finance
Congressman relishing pivotal role in overhaul

By Sasha Issenberg
Globe Correspondent / August 25, 2009

NEW BEDFORD – US Representative Barney Frank became a YouTube star last week after a town-hall meeting in which he likened a constituent to household furniture, but much of his summer has been spent in uncommon quietude.

As chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Frank is busy assembling a complex bill to give the federal government unprecedented control over the country’s financial institutions. It is as ambitious as any legislation jolting town halls and cable-news programs, and one that calls upon Frank’s lesser-known skills: discreet negotiation instead of the impatient insult showcased last Tuesday night in Dartmouth, when he belittled a woman who accused him of supporting a “Nazi policy’’ on health care.

A few days earlier, Frank lamented that voters had yet to be as engaged by the debate over new proposals intended to help avoid the kind of Wall Street risk-taking that pulled down the banking system and drove the country into recession.

“It’s been eclipsed obviously in the pub lic’s mind by health care, which I am troubled by a little bit, to be honest with you,’’ Frank said during an extensive interview in his district office in downtown New Bedford. “It’s intellectually complex. Politically it’s like five Rubik’s cubes trying to keep the members happy.’’

Two floors beneath him, a senior center bustled with the sounds of midday bingo, and the 69-year old Frank would probably have flunked their dress code. When he leaned back in his chair, he revealed sneakers, baggy brown trousers slouched around his legs like sweatpants, and a long-sleeved T-shirt with a cartoon head of Frankenstein and the words “Be Frank.’’

Frank is stuck behind a desk for much of his August recess, a quiet perch from which he contemplates legislative drafts and monitors the shifting uncertainties of his committee’s 70 members. When Congress returns to session after Labor Day, Frank expects to chair a series of hearings and markup sessions that he hopes will generate a single comprehensive bill on financial reform for a vote in the House.

“He’s got to drive an agenda – not necessarily his own, but the administration’s agenda, some which he may have questions about – and put together a coalition that can get a bill out of committee,’’ said Michael G. Oxley, an Ohio Republican who preceded Frank as chairman and is now retired from Congress.

Frank says the legislation is necessary to help fend off future episodes of financial panic. Hedge funds and derivatives traders would have to operate under new limits. A financial products safety commission would regulate the consumer marketplace, down to payday loans and check-cashing stores. Federal officials would gain new powers to unwind failed financial institutions.

In addition, Frank hopes to secure congressional auditing authority over the secretive Federal Reserve, a proposal he describes with phrases – “Ron Paul agrees with that’’ and “secondly, Ron Paul agrees with this’’ – that are jarring coming from a liberal Democrat. He comes close to smiling when describing his narrow alliance with the cranky Texas libertarian and former presidential candidate who is on the committee and whose distrust for the Federal Reserve has led him to propose abolishing the paper money system.

“I am boasting about this,’’ said Frank. “Being chairman of the committee is different than being an individual member. Your job is to try to get public policy that is going to be workable.’’

Since Obama unveiled his reforms in June and asked that Congress have them ready for his signature by year’s end, administration figures have complained about the languid legislative pace.

Earlier this month, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner lashed out at a gathering of federal regulators who he said were slowing the bill’s progress with skeptical comments about a proposal to establish a new authority to monitor investment risk.

Frank, who elsewhere has had kind words for two of George W. Bush’s nominees, Federal Deposit Insurance Commission chairwoman Sheila Bair and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, said the administration should not be shocked by the officials’ response.

“They don’t want to lose their control,’’ said Frank. “What a surprise: Regulators don’t want to lose turf.’’

Openly contemptuous of Obama’s constant references to bipartisanship, Frank probably has the votes to pass the bill out of his committee without support from Republicans. A similar bill coming out of the Senate will probably be drafted with more Republican input; negotiators will eventually have to merge the two.

“He knows how to get things done, he knows how to make deals when he has to,’’ said Oxley. “A lot of it is trying to position the House so they can be relevant when that legislation ends up in the Senate.’’

Reordering American finance may be the biggest project Frank has taken on in his nearly three-decade legislative career, but it is far from a lifelong ambition.

After his election to the House in 1980, Frank sought out seats on the Judiciary and Banking committees. They were frequent destinations for ideological liberals seeking sway over civil-rights issues: The banking panel’s jurisdiction included areas of urban policy related to fair housing and urban development.

In the decades since, the committee’s range shifted to cover securities, insurance, and matters of corporate governance, and it was renamed in 2001. Frank became chairman in 2007, just before the world of mortgages, derivatives, and securities dominated the news and focused his attention.

“The financial crisis took over my life,’’ he said.

Frank, a lawyer, could be next in line for the Judiciary Committee gavel, but says recent events have made that ambition moot. He said he has shrunk his political portfolio to only two nonfinance subjects: fisheries issues (due to his coastal district’s economy) and gay concerns (“because there aren’t enough of us to go around’’).

Frank has also turned his attention to raising money for his own reelection and those of Democratic committee members, said spokesman Steven Adamske. Frank has raised more than $750,000 on his own behalf so far this year and has given the bulk to other Democratic campaign committees. Approximately $100,000 of it comes from insurance and finance interests, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, but Frank discounts the idea the money has any influence on his work.

“In the area that we work in, it’s not campaign contributions that drive it – it’s votes,’’ he said. “The most important influences are the credit unions, the realtors, the community banks – because there are many of them in everybody’s district.’’


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