Politics, Banking and Congressional Gridlock: A Q&A with Barney Frank

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I wouldn't want to be the secretary of Treasury a year or two from now who calls up a big financial institution and says 'Look, we've got this problem, can you take over such and such.' You've just lost all ability to do that. It's counter-productive, plus it's just unfair.

I felt that when some of the liberals where criticizing Bank of America over Merrill Lynch. You know, they did that as a favor to the federal government.

You want to go after John Thain, go after John Thain.

I just thought it was wrong.

What will you miss most in leaving Congress?
Being able to affect public policy. That's the only thing I will miss.

Some of the personal friendships. People underestimate what a high quality of people — not just serve in Congress, but the greatest bargain the American people get are Congressional staff. They are just an extraordinarily talented group of people on all sides. I'm very proud of the relationships I have with a lot of staff, including Republican staffers. They have been very, very good.

But mostly I'll miss the ability to change public policy.

What are your future plans?
I have two books in mind. One, what I think the program ought to be for people who agree with my values. How liberals can do a better job of winning elections and public policy.

Then a history of the gay rights movement. My political career and the gay rights movement are co-terminus. I was elected in '72 and that's when it started.

I will give speeches for money. I will make a lot of money doing that I think.

Some TV commentary, but not on a regular basis.

I will take on no responsibilities. I plan to run my mouth for money, both orally and in writing.

And then I would like to have a base at a university and do some teaching. Part of that is I need that to organize my thoughts and I want to be around other smart people.

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Comments (2)
Frank as senator? NOT!
Barney Frank has built his career and "personal" life on the misery of twelve million Americans who now face foreclosure.
Frank's only regret is that he didn't rip off enough from middle-class taxpayers.
Frank's philosophy is from the "we'll get ours" school of thought.
There is nothing warm and fuzzy about a crooked Marxist who created the real estate housing mess and whose goal was to disenfranchise the American middle class.
Massachusetts voters are sick of the Champagne Socialism Frank represents. As a representative, Frank refers to his constituents as "nobodies" who are "pieces of furniture."
The twelve million Americans who are facing foreclosure want to know when Frank is going to be convicted.
If Frank had the guts to visit the people whose homes he has put into foreclosure, they would SPIT on him.
Posted by libertyfreedom | Saturday, December 22 2012 at 4:55AM ET
The root of the problem is that politicians confuse "shelter" with housing, then seen mortgage finance as a tool to address shelter issues. That bankrupted savings and loans a generation ago and when lending then moved to the capital markets it bankrupted them as well, including Fannie and Freddie.
Posted by kvillani | Wednesday, December 26 2012 at 10:46AM ET
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