Wednesday, October 13, 2010

See If Your Banker Howls

For those that may have forgotten, I fell in love with Elizabeth Warren the first time I ever laid eyes on her.

No more tricks to boost bank profits: Obama adviser

”"The room for anybody in the financial services industry to make their money by squeezing you here and squeezing you there, tricks and traps, that is going to go away," she told an online White House forum to which the public submitted questions.”

”Warren made plain that the new bureau was designed to put lenders who relied on trickery out of business for good.”

Be still my beating heart.

If your banker does howl about Mrs. Warren, you might consider finding a different banker. Unless you like trips, traps and trickery. Make no mistake about it, the banksters on Wall Street are howling. Here’s a excerpt from an interview on Fareed Zakaria’s GPS last Sunday.

”ZAKARIA: But, as you said, all your Wall Street friends, to a man, I'm -- or a woman, are just incensed. What do you think explains the level of anger against Obama from the business community?

RATTNER: I think a couple of things. First of all, because -- because there is a lot of -- of tough rhetoric about Wall Street. The president does believe that Wall Street was a significant part of the problem, more of a problem than Wall Street believes it was.

I think Wall Street is a little bit in its own little bubble, and doesn't really get what's going on out in the country and understand the extent to which they need to be responsive to it, need to appreciate it. Whether they agree with it or not, they have to accept it. ”

Who is Rattner?

”ZAKARIA: There have been many czars in the American government, but "Car Czar" is a title that has been bestowed on probably only one man in history. Steve Rattner is that man, asked by President Obama in February 2009 to fix the auto industry.

Rattner spent most of his life on Wall Street, in senior positions at Morgan Stanley and Lazard Freres. He then set up his own private equity company. Before that, he had spent years as a reporter for the "New York Times".”

An interesting guy. And it was an interesting interview. If you have the time, I would recommend you watch the show. Watching Robert Caro take Peggy Noonan apart -- piece by piece -- in the earlier panel discussion is worth it. Trust me. (The panel discussion starts at the 3:40 mark. The interview with Rattner start at 23:50.)

Before I get too far away from my point, if your banker howls too much he may be too close to Wall Street. Just saying. Nobody being regulated likes regulations. They are not supposed to like them. But anyone with any honesty will admit that regulations are needed to keep everybody honest. Which is the whole point. You deserve an honest banker. And the dishonest ones should be put out of business.

Don Brown
October 13, 2010

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