Maybe somebody should tell Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd that he and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank are on the same side.Even before Rep. Frank announced plans to offer legislation to restrict how the Treasury Department would use the remaining Troubled Asset Relief Program funds, Sen. Dodd was openly dismissing any possibility of such a bill's enactment.
"I just can't see us getting a bill done in the Senate," Sen. Dodd told reporters.
The comments weakened Rep. Frank's bargaining position and cast doubt on the bill's chances. Sen. Dodd even appeared dismissive of the other legislative chamber.
"That's the House," he said while laughing. "Tell them to spend a week over here."
Sen. Dodd has spent time in the House, and for a brief moment Thursday he may have feared he had been sent back to his former chamber.
During a briefing to announce Citigroup Inc.'s support for mortgage bankruptcy legislation, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., thanked "Congressman Chris Dodd, the chairman of the Banking Committee," for supporting the deal.
Sen. Dodd promptly corrected him.
For the Minority
Two of the most conservative members of the Financial Services Committee gained leadership roles last week, when Rep. Spencer Bachus announced the lead Republican for each subcommittee.Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex., a protege of former Sen. Phil Gramm and a top member of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservatives, was named the ranking Republican for the financial institutions subcommittee.
Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., another member of the RSC and an outspoken critic of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, was named the ranking Republican for the subcommittee with jurisdiction over capital markets, insurance, and government-sponsored enterprises.
On the Hot Seat
A week before President-elect Barack Obama starts his new job, senators will begin interviewing his top financial services lieutenants.First up is Shaun Donovan, New York City's housing commissioner and the choice to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Banking Committee will hold his nomination hearing Tuesday.
Two days later the committee will consider the nominations of Mary Schapiro, former chief of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, to head the Securities and Exchange Commission; Prof. Daniel Tarullo of Georgetown University Law Center, an Obama campaign adviser, to be a Federal Reserve Board governor; and three people to sit on the Council of Economic Advisors: Christina Romer (the chairman-designate), Austan Goolsbee, and Cecilia Rouse.
Tim Geithner's nomination to run the Treasury Department will be run through the Senate Finance Committee, which has yet to announce a hearing date.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. welcomed Kate Childress and Nate Gatten, who started new jobs as senior vice presidents for federal government relations on Jan. 1.Ms. Childress worked as a private lobbyist on financial services issues. Before that she had been a research analyst at Charles Schwab Capital Markets. Earlier she had worked on the Senate Banking Committee as an aide to Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and as staff director for the economic policy subcommittee.
Mr. Gatten represented financial services firms as a partner at American Capitol Group, a Washington lobbying firm. Previously he had been a vice president of government and industry relations at Fannie and a banking aide to Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah.
Michael Jessee, who has run the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston for more than two decades, said last week that he will retire at the end of April."I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to serve such a fine institution and to guide the bank in the fulfillment of its mission," he said in a press release.
There is no initial word on a possible successor.
The Financial Services Roundtable said last week that it has hired Peter Freeman as a vice president of insurance. Mr. Freeman was the deputy chief of staff to former Rep. Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio.