Now that the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan failed in the House on Monday, it should be pointed out --- which major media have not touched on --- that the chairmen of two key Congressional committees at the center of the effort focusing on the Treasury proposal do not have a financial background, notes Grumpy Editor.
Perhaps that would have helped.
Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee since January, 2007, has a law background. His committee, with 70 members, is the second largest in the Congress.
On the Senate side, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.), also a lawyer, is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee (or to be technically correct: Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs). He took over the committee’s helm in January, 2007.
Both have been major players in the push-and-shove negotiations on a market rescue package.
After the measure failed to pass in the House on Monday, Frank declared, “We are threatened with a shutdown of the credit system.”
Long-time irregular doings on Wall Street, spreading to Main Street, would have been recognized far earlier if the chairmen had a solid knowledge of financial matters, including the operations and scrutiny of investment banks, commercial banks and lending operations right down to the sore spots that triggered the major Washington rattling: sub-prime mortgages and other sour loans.
But seniority counts in Congress.
Frank has been in the House since 1981.
Dodd started in the House in 1975 and became a senator in 1981.
Meanwhile, as Democrats and Republicans on Monday continued to point fingers at each other in the bailout bust, Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) informed a press conference that “we must work in a bipartisan way.”