An Eye On Barney Frank

Let’s have a little fun as we get ready for what looks like a run of the table by the Democrats.
Without a doubt, one of the key players in the next four years is going to be Bill O’Reilly’s favorite troll congressman, Barney Frank.

The guy is going to be in the eye of the storm if he isn’t already. His outspoken antipathy towards the private sector combined with his penchant for centralized control of the economy have been much on display the past few months and we’re likely to see much more in the near future. He can probably be viewed as a great barometer of the direction of regulation and the extent of control the new administration and congress will exert. The amount of press, the length of his leash and the success of his proposals will tell us much about what we can expect.

In that vein, and just because the guy is so outrageous, I’m going to start compiling his statements. I’ll print what I have so far here and add to this list as I see new ones. I’ll keep in a category we’ll call BF’s. You can easily find it in the category list on the right hand side of the page. If any of you find anything send it along with a link and I’ll put it up.

Here’s what I have so far:

“I am deeply disappointed that a number of financial institutions are distorting
the legislation that Congress passed at the President’s request to respond to
the credit crisis by making funds available for increased lending,” Frank said.
“Any use of the funds for any purpose other than lending — for bonuses, for
severance pay, for dividends, for acquisitions of other institutions, etc. — is
a violation of the terms of the Act.”
“I appreciate the fact that the
secretary of the Treasury has re-emphasized that increased lending activity is
the only legitimate purpose for taxpayer funding of these institutions,” Frank
said. “He must make it absolutely clear to any participating entity that the
federal government will insist on compliance.” Housing
Wire, October 31, 2008

There should be a moratorium on bonuses,” Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, told
reporters yesterday in Washington. “They have a negative incentive effect
because they are the ones that say if you take a risk and it pays off you
get a
big bonus,” and if it causes losses “you don’t lose anything.” Bloomberg,
October 22, 2008

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila
Bair
should lead a “government-wide effort” to stem foreclosures and keep
struggling borrowers in their homes, House Financial
Services Committee
Chairman Barney
Frank
said.

Bair should supervise and coordinate the federal response to
“the foreclosure crisis that continues to undercut economic recovery,” Frank,
of Massachusetts, and Representative Maxine
Waters
of California, both Democrats, wrote in a letter to President George
W. Bush
yesterday. The lawmakers said they have been “very impressed” with
Bair’s loan-modification efforts. Bloomberg,
October 21, 2008

Under the buying up of assets, they could buy up automobile loans,” said Barney
Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat who chairs the House Financial Services
Committee.

While Frank has been a critic of rating
agencies being too lax in the past, he said on Tuesday they now seem to be
leaning too far the other way.
“Now I think rating agencies in some cases
have been too tough,” he said. He was speaking following a meeting of the Urban
Land Institute, a nonprofit research and education organization. Reuters
October 14, 2008

Frank said he expected lenders to help more borrowers or he would consider
changing the relationship between servicers and investors to remove contractual
barriers to modifying loans. Servicers have said they are sometimes constrained
from changing loans because by contract they must represent investors who own
the mortgage.
“If it is the case that the servicers cannot respond
appropriately, then that institution of a servicer acting on behalf of ultimate
investors” can’t continue, Frank said during the hearing. Bloomberg
July 25, 2008

You get the idea don’t you.

Tom Lindmark

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