18 March 2010

Boehner Tells Bankers to Stand Up to Those Senate Punks

"O heaven,...put in every honest hand a whip to lash the rascals naked through the world." William Shakespeare, Othello

Senate Minority Leader John Boehner told the American Bankers Association to 'stand up to those punks' in the Senate who want to regulate them. He said 'staffers' but that is because professional courtesy prohibited him from saying 'Senators.'

Perhaps Mr. Boehner feels a burst of confidence since Timmy and Ben and Larry have his back. And of course the bankers to whom he was speaking already have 25 lobbyists fighting against reform for every Congressman in Washington, and buckets of cash to spread around.

Actually, the only ones who seem to be underrepresented and in trouble in Washington these days are the American people.

The Dodd bill has its good points, but contains some bizarre twists. The ruling that the Fed would only supervise banks of over 50 billion seems particularly bizarre. Mr. Hoenig of the Kansas City Fed objected to this today. As well he might, since his district contains NO banks worth more than $50 billions, and he would be presumably out of a job.

This is classic Democrat blundering. Spend many months negotiating and seeking partnership with people who would just as soon place their hands in a meat grinder as make any reasonable compromise, and then toss off some bizarre legislation seemingly out of nowhere, after having made a big deal out of wishing to be 'bipartisan.' The Democratic party seems leaderless.

One thing for which I will give credit. Mr. Obama has certainly united his country -- in believing that he is one part corrupt Chicago politician and two parts a rather ineffective waffler who mistakes campaign-style speaking for leadership and timidity for consensus building.

Leadership in the real world is measured by getting the job done, and being recognized as effective by your own people and your key stakeholders, inspiring them with confidence and the ability to do even more than they might have imagined.

The American President reminds me of a corporate executive at a company which had recently acquired mine who was clearly over his head in his current position. When asked why he did not meet his commitments, he replied without hesitation, "My people are incompetent." What was particularly galling is that he had been allowed to assemble his own team, and been given adequate time to build his plan and objectives. He missed most of them, badly but did manage to exceed his expenses.

Mr. Obama inspires most people with disappointment, dismay, confusion and despair. He has managed to alienate a good chunk of his electoral base while gaining nothing. To win is not to be elected; to win is to succeed in your goals and the expectations which you have set with your constituents.

Still, as unattractive as the Democratic leadership may be, there is nothing uglier than a politician soliciting money from fat cat businessmen, and few can be as smarmy as a Republican in heat for cash.

Boehner to Bankers: Stand Up to ‘Punk’ Staffers
March 18, 2010, 9:18 am

Opponents of Senator Christopher J. Dodd’s financial regulation overhaul bill are talking tough, telling bankers how displeased they are without mincing words.

Representative John A. Boehner, the Republican House minority leader, told members of the American Bankers Association on Wednesday that they need to be unafraid to stand up to whom he called “punk” Senate staffers, according to MarketWatch.

And even the head of the Office of the Comptroller of Currency took a swipe at the consumer protection aspects of the bill, according to The Financial Times.

Mr. Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee has already been hearing from Republican senators who are unhappy with his decision to forge ahead without first reaching bipartisan consensus. Now House Republicans, according to Mr. Boehner, are arguing that Mr. Dodd’s proposal is too far apart from the financial regulation overhaul bill the House passed in December.

Here’s what Mr. Boehner said, according to MarketWatch:

“Don’t let those little punk staffers take advantage of you and stand up for
yourselves,” Boehner said. “All of us are hearing from our friends and
constituents on lack of credit, you can’t get a loan, the more your government
takes and taxes, the more regulations you have to comply with the more cost you
have there and less amount you are going to have available to loan to

And remember, 36% of American Congressmen are also lawyers.

Dodd's Chief Counsel Was Trading In Financial Stocks During Financial Crisis