Sheila and Bob
Though it was Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair's speech to the Economic Club of New York that made headlines last week, other remarks that received far less attention kept 650 women in a ballroom in New York riveted.In a speech at the Financial Women's Association dinner, Bair said she was fortunate to work as an aide to a "progressive" man: former Sen. Bob Dole. "But there was one time he didn't stand behind me."
It was in the 1990s, after Dole encouraging her to run for an open congressional seat in their home state of Kansas. He declined to endorse her in the primary, because six Republicans were running. "You got me out here, and you're not going to endorse me?" she recalled asking the senator.
But then she turned his decision to her advantage. Handing out brochures door to door, Bair told voters she did not want Dole's endorsement and did not want to ride his coattails.
She ended up losing by 760 votes, or a margin of less than 1%. "It was a painful loss," she said.
And then came the kicker from Dole. "He said he thought I lost because I was a woman, and because I wasn't married," she said, smiling. "He was probably right," since the district was very conservative.
Bair attended the dinner to accept a Woman of the Year award for her impact on the public sector. Amy Woods Brinkley, global risk executive at Bank of America Corp., accepted one for her impact on the private sector.
Beam Him Up
Tim Geithner received two dubious honors last week from news magazines, including one he may actually appreciate from People, which included him in its annual Most Beautiful People issue. The acclaim did not come without controversy. Business Insider cried foul after discovering that the Treasury Department secretary's brother, David Geithner, is a vice president at People.The secretary received another distinction from Newsweek, which tried to compare President Obama's Cabinet to the cast of the original "Star Trek" series. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke was compared with chief engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott ("She's breaking up, Captain!"), while Geithner was compared with nurse Christine Chapel — "Dubious but dependable helping hand," the magazine said. That's strange — to us, Geithner looks more like Pavel Chekov, the Enterprise's navigator.
Hell hath no fury like a senator scorned. That was the message last week as Sen. Dick Durbin proceeded to list by name — and insult — several banking companies that tried and failed to strike a deal on a bill to let judges rework mortgages in the bankruptcy process. After the measure was defeated 51 to 45, Durbin blamed the bankers by name. "I can't tell you how many of these bankers have walked away," he said. "The American Bankers Association has been terrible. Terrible."He then cited the "big banks," including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.
"The list goes on and on," he said. "If any of these names are sounding familiar, it is because they are surviving today because they have taxpayers' dollars."
Aaron Klein, the chief economist for the Senate Banking Committee's Democratic staff, has left Capitol Hill for a job at the Treasury.Klein, who joined the committee staff in 2001 under then-Chairman Paul Sarbanes, became the Treasury's deputy assistant secretary for economic policy.
Another former Senate Banking staff member, Alex Sternhell, has a new job in financial services. Sternhell, a longtime aide to Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd and the panel's former deputy staff director and senior policy adviser, has left Cypress Group to start his own lobbying shop focused on financial issues, Sternhell Group.
Paese to Goldman
Michael Paese, an executive vice president of global advocacy for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, is leaving the trade group to run Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s Washington office as a managing director.Paese will start his new job next month and will handle legislative and regulatory affairs. He will report to Faryar Shirzad, Goldman's global head of government affairs. Before joining the trade group last year, Paese served as deputy staff director to the House Financial Services Committee.