Pontificatus Interruptus

Author: David Kotok, Post Date: September 27, 2008

Here we are with another intense weekend to add to the pile of 7-day work weeks. 

Washington Emperor Barney Frank says “Follow me.”  He looks around and no one is there.  Result: blame someone else.  So he points fingers and seeks scapegoats.

Did he mention he added 4.2 basis points to the Fannie-Freddie bailout for his pet projects?  Did he say he controlled the bill in his committee so that his projects would be paid regardless of profit or loss in the revitalized FF?  Did he mention that he and Chris Dodd also have the profits from this $700-billion plan headed for his special project funds and not to the US Treasury or the taxpayers?  No.

The Emperor would not remove his clothes to show us these warts.

CNN (last night) removed some outer garments when it reported the amount of campaign contributions Frank has received from the financial related industries is $2.5 million.  His Senate Counterpart, Chris Dodd, was listed at $13 million.  These Emperors have some very fine clothes.  You and I are the ones who will ultimately pay for them.

This is Washington, where Emperors fiddle while the rest of us burn.  When the music stops briefly they engage in Pontificatus Interruptus and then resume the closed-door negotiations. 

Transparency?  Fuhgedaboudit!  We don’t have any.  Markets know it.  That is why in London on Friday the British pound denominated credit default swap on the United States traded higher than the one on McDonalds.  That is why some money market funds on Friday would not tell their customers if they were going to “break the buck” or not.

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