I took the time and liberty to watch many of the hearings of the House Financial Service Committee which Mr Frank chairs. I did not get the idea that he (and or the committee) was trying to reveal the truth or identify the cancer in the system in order to remove it. His personal and professional involvement with Fannie and Freddie leaves me with an uneasy hunch that this is part of the filth of DC's relations with the financial industry.
Former Barney Frank staffer now top Goldman Sachs lobbyist
By: Timothy P. Carney
04/28/09 5:30 PM
Goldman Sachs' new top lobbyist was recently the top staffer to Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., on the House Financial Services Committee chaired by Frank. Michael Paese, a registered lobbyist for the Securities Industries and Financial Markets Association since he left Frank's committee in September, will join Goldman as director of government affairs, a role held last year by former Tom Daschle intimate, Mark Patterson, now the chief of staff at the Treasury Department. This is not Paese's first swing through the Wall Street-Congress revolving door: he previously worked at JP Morgan and Mercantile Bankshares, and in between served as senior minority counsel at the Financial Services Committee.
Politico reported this last week based on an anonymous source, and Bloomberg confirmed it today.
Barnett "Barney" Frank (born March 31, 1940 in Bayonne, New Jersey) is the United States House Representative for Massachusetts's 4th congressional district since 1981 and a member of the Democratic Party. In 1982 he won his first full term and has been re-elected ever since by wide margins. In 1987 he became the second openly gay member of the House of Representatives, and has become one of the most prominent openly gay politicians in the United States. In 2007 Frank became the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (when the Democratic Party won a majority in the House of Representatives). The committee oversees the housing and banking industries.
Frank is widely considered to be one of the most powerful members of Congress. He is "one of the brightest and most energetic defenders of civil rights issues", and "a key deal-maker, an unlikely bridge between his party’s left-wing base and [...] free-market conservatives".
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
In 2003, while the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, Frank opposed a Bush administration proposal for transferring oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from Congress and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to a new agency that would be created within the Treasury Department. The proposal reflected the administration's belief that Congress "neither has the tools, nor the stature" for adequate oversight. Frank stated, "These two entities...are not facing any kind of financial crisis.... The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing." The two companies, which together own or back more than half the home mortgages in the US became "hobbled" by loan defaults. Frank clarified in 2009 that Fannie and Freddie were not in crisis at the time and many financial institutions, like Lehman Brothers, also fell into crisis from 2003 to 2008.
Conservative groups criticized Frank for campaign contributions totaling $42,350 between 1989 and 2008. They claim the donations from Fannie and Freddie influenced his support of their lending programs, and say that Frank did not play a strong enough role in reforming the institutions in the years leading up to the Economic crisis of 2008. Frank's former partner, Herb Moses, was an executive at Fannie from 1991 to 1998, where Moses helped develop many of Fannie’s housing and home improvement lending programs. In 1991, Frank pushed for reduced restrictions on two- and three-family home mortgages. During the time that Frank was in a relationship with Moses, he blocked tougher regulations on the banking companies while voting for the Government Sponsored Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1991 and the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992. Frank and Moses' relationship ended around the same time Moses left the company.