Saturday, January 15, 2011

Page Two

This is a serious case of information overload. You have to click the links for it to make sense.

If you kept reading after Just One Page, you might want to check out this article I found in The New York Times about John D. (Jerry) Hawke Jr. -- Comptroller of the Currency. When the regulated (the banksters) got to shop around for a regulator (OCC or OTS), Mr. Hawke advertised that he would be the easiest regulator around.

Hindsight might be 20-20 but a few folks had pretty good foresight -- including Senator Sarbanes.

”But, in the last few weeks, Mr. Hawke's appointment as Comptroller of the Currency stalled. Over the objections of some members of the Senate Banking Committee, the Clinton Administration yesterday gave Mr. Hawke a temporary, or one-year, ''recess'' appointment to that post. ”

”...lead by Paul S. Sarbanes, Democrat of Maryland, put a hold on Mr. Hawke's confirmation, delaying it until the next Congress.”

”Some Democratic senators objected to positions Mr. Hawke took on consumer banking issues that the Democrats felt were made only to placate Republicans. ”

”To the senators involved, the delay was not over Mr. Hawke's credentials, but his policies. ''Jerry Hawke knows his banking law,'' Mr. Sarbanes said, using Mr. Hawke's nickname. ''But the question is to what purpose will he put that knowledge to work?''”

”Mr. Hawke has shaped the nation's banking system with his free-market attitudes and legal work on behalf of bank clients that broke down regulatory barriers in court while Congress dithered on the issue.”

”For the next three decades, except for three years in the late 1970's when he was the Fed's general counsel, Mr. Hawke spent his career largely suing the Government. With regulators and Congress often reluctant to deregulate banking, aggressive financial institutions relied on lawyers like Mr. Hawke to outfox the law.”

In other words, the fox was put in charge of guarding the hen house and a Democrat -- Bill Clinton -- did it. Remember when the Republicans screamed that Clinton was a Communist, Socialist Liberal? It’s pretty much what they are screaming about Obama now.

And if you think Obama is a liberal, you need to look a lot closer. Or just read up on Larry Summers. Speaking of whom, Mr. Summers will be the guest on GPS with Fareed Zakaria this Sunday. You might want to watch this one.

I must say, once again, The New York Times is a great newspaper.

Don Brown
January 15, 2011

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