Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Neil Barofsky, Future Politician

Neil Barofsky hates the Treasury Department. From what I understand, the feeling is more than mutual.

Barofsky is back today with an op-ed in the NYT, which is ironic, because one of Treasury's main criticisms is that he's a relentless grandstander. (He is.) In it, Barofsky claims:

Worse, Treasury apparently has chosen to ignore rather than support real efforts at reform, such as those advocated by Sheila Bair, the chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, to simplify or shrink the most complex financial institutions.
Well, Sheila Bair pointedly did NOT support the Brown-Kaufman amendment (which would have broken up the large banks), so we can assume he's not talking about that. But Bair has been talking about forcing the large banks to shrink or simplify themselves in order to comply with the "resolution plan" requirement in Dodd-Frank. Presumably, this is what Barofsky is talking about. As I've said before, I think resolution plans are an excellent idea, and will help considerably in successfully resolving large banks in the future.

Do you know how the "resolution plan" requirement got into Dodd-Frank in the first place? Because Treasury included it in its initial legislative proposal. And do you know why Treasury hasn't been going around talking about using the resolution plans to shrink or simplify the large banks? Because Dodd-Frank gives the authority to require and implement resolution plans to the Fed and the FDIC, not the Treasury. Since Barofsky is clearly new at this, he may not know that agencies typically don't go around talking about what it thinks another agency should do in its rulemakings, especially before the other agency has even issued its proposed rules.

The only real question is: when is Barofsky going to start formally accepting campaign donations?

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