February 18, 2009

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Dodd does damage: Connecticut U.S. senator jeopardizes bank bailout by pandering on bonuses. “Sen. Christopher Dodd has taken a beating in the polls for becoming too cozy with the head of a subprime mortgage lender – and now he’s playing destructive politics in hopes of winning rehabilitation.” Read the whole thing.

Plus, Dodd Man Out:

Time magazine’s recent list of “25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis” included many obvious choices, and a readers’ poll named Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee from 1995-2000, as the No. 1 culprit.

Conspicuously absent was the current chairman, Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. Yet on the same day the list was published, Time also had this Dodd ditty: “This is, of course, the same Chris Dodd who was Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee beginning in 2007, when the banks began their meltdown. He was the one who received the most campaign cash of any senator from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two companies that he defended against increased regulation that might have actually tempered some of the disaster that has followed. He was the one who spent a huge chunk of 2007 not in the Senate, but on the campaign trail, carrying out a lackluster presidential effort funded largely by the banking and insurance industries. … His top contributor was Citibank. His fourth largest contributor was the now-collapsed firm, AIG, a major purveyor of the complex derivatives that helped cause the crisis. He was also the one who in 2007 went before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to praise the ‘history of solid regulation’ in the U.S. capital markets. ‘Win or lose, (people) invest with a high degree of confidence that American balance sheets are accurate, that investment products like securities and derivatives are properly valued, and that the markets are well-policed against those who would commit negligent, deceptive or fraudulent acts,’ he said.”

How is it possible for one person to be this wrong this often, and cause so much financial hardship and havoc, and still not make Time’s top 25?

Ouch.

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