Friday, February 05, 2010

Takin' Care of Bidness

Retiring Sen. Chris Dodd, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, is in a fix. He's got a LOT of bills.

Noooooo, not to pass.

Bills to PAY:

Dod, a spry 65-yr-old senatorial stud, has a young family to support, kids to put through school, the house, the place in town, the cars, the chauffeur, the nanny, the health care, all that stuff he needs to replace the perqs of his office and status. He doesn't live small, and it don't come cheap!

So don't look for Chris Dodd to stand up and demand a rein on the refluffing of the next bubble. He can't PASS any bills that might impede the ability of his NEXT employers--the Bankstyers he now putatively regulates--to siphon off all the excess cash in the country. Chris Dodd is not gonna work very hard to impose discipline on the fi9nancial markets, cuz he stands to profit so handsomely if he can prevent major government "interference."

What's at stake for Dodd?

First a couple of years as a poobah on a bunch of cushy Boards. Then, on to K Street when the two-year moratorium on lobbying expires, and untold riches dispensed to reward his access. Of course, he could follow the lead of former Senator John Breaux, from louisiana, who retired and opened a consultancy, not a lobbying shop, and did very well, I'm told.

Robert Reich is nicer about it than I am, but concludes:

Some Democrats are quietly grumbling that all the tough talk emanating from the White House in recent weeks — the President calling the Street’s denizens “fat cats” and threatening them with limits on their size and the risks they can take, even waiving a watered-down version of Glass-Steagall in their faces — is making it harder to collect money from the Street this mid-term election year. And the Street is quietly threatening that it may well give Republicans more, if the saber-rattling doesn’t stop.

Congress isn’t doing a thing about Wall Street because it’s in the pocket of Wall Street. Dodd’s outburst at the Street is like the alcoholic who screams at a bartender “how dare you give me another drink when all I’ve done is pleaded with you for one!”

Dodd is right about one thing. The American people are frustrated, and the failure of Congress to pass real financial reform is insulting. But in trying to place responsibility for this appalling failure on Wall Street, Dodd insults us even more.
Hear, hear!

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