Barney Frank Takes Marsha Blackburn To Task For Deregulating Banks

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I have to say that Rep. Marsha Blackburn is generally one of the more infuriating Republican politicians to watch on television because her usual tactic is to talk over and filibuster whoever the other guest is on with her and run out the clock so they don't get a chance to talk. Rep. Barney Frank was having none of that during his appearance with her on This Week and I was glad to see him call her out for her voting record when it comes to deregulating the financial industries.

Republicans constantly complain about the bailouts and these institutions being 'too big to fail" as Blackburn did here, but in the end, they just want to continue to leave them to their own ends and let the "free market" prevail. Blackburn was very upset with Frank and claimed he was trying to "speak for her" and here's how he handled it:

FRANK: Well, I'm sorry, but she voted against this. This pattern of interruption and filibuster is really not a good way to discuss important issues. She voted for no regulation at all in 2010. They all did.

BLACKBURN: No. No, Barney. You can't speak for me. I didn't speak for you.

FRANK: That was the vote that you took! You voted...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you. I -- I got to go. I got to go.

FRANK: I'm -- I'm quoting your vote. I'm not speaking for you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you both for your time this morning.

FRANK: I'm quoting your vote.

Good for him. Full transcript of their exchange below the fold.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, I want to get to one more economic issue. This is JPMorgan this week posted a massive $2 billion loss from a bet on the kind of derivatives that helped precipitate the financial crisis. Here's what the CEO, Jamie Dimon, had to say about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DIMON: In hindsight, the new strategy was flawed, complex, poorly reviewed, poorly executed, and poorly monitored. The portfolio has proven to be riskier, more volatile, and less effective as an economic hedge than we thought. But it's obvious at this point that we've -- there are many errors, sloppiness, and bad judgment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Frank, he also said that the regulations you helped author, the Dodd-Frank rules, which were supposed to stop banks who get federal help from betting their own funds in this way, he says that it wouldn't have violated the Volcker rule, which is not finalized yet. Is he right about that?

FRANK: I hope he won't be. That is, the Volcker rule is still being formulated. It's a complicated thing. Part of the problem, frankly, is that the Republicans, while they have plenty of money to spend on international military adventures that haven't worked out well, have reduced the funding that we've asked for, for the agency that's supposed to regulate derivatives, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and we're talking about an additional $100 million, where they'll spend billions in Afghanistan and Iraqi police effort that they now want to get rid of. So the fact is that the CFTC has been slowed down to do that.

I hope that the final rule will prevent this. There were other factors in the rule that are going forward. Years ago, what happened was, agencies, entities like JPMorgan Chase, made bets on derivatives and then couldn't pay for it. We now have rules that say, no, you can't get yourself in that position.

Let me give you one specific example. This was done by JPMorgan's London affiliate. The Republicans in the House are trying to get a bill through, which we're trying to stop, which incredibly to me would say that if an American institution's foreign subsidiary engages in derivative transactions, it will be subject to no American regulation. Now, that's an effort to weaken the financial reform bill we passed. The Republicans passed out of committee, they tried to get it through the House under a quickie. We said no.

So we are very much still in the process of trying to decide whether or not we will have the rules in place that will -- and, by the way, we're not trying to stop banks from losing money. We have stopped trying them -- stopping them from losing money in ways that would cause damage to the rest of the system.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Your response?

FRANK: And those are the rules the Republicans are fighting.

BLACKBURN: Do you have a response, Congresswoman Blackburn?

BLACKBURN: George -- well, yeah. You know, there's going to be a lot more to come out, I think, on what happened with JPMorgan. I'm one of those members that is looking forward to getting some of that information. I -- I think the Volcker rule issue -- as you rightly said -- is one that they're going to pinpoint and say, was it violated or was it not?

Bear in mind, the Dodd-Frank bill, 2,300 pages, they've already had 400 rulemaking sessions, and this is where you have so much government regulation coming in that you can't see the forest for the trees. And I -- I think that...

FRANK: That's just nonsense.

BLACKBURN: ... what we want to do is -- it is not nonsense, Barney. And you know that what we want to do is make certain that, as we look at this, that we don't enshrine this too big to fail, that we get to the root of the problem.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm afraid -- I'm afraid we're out of time this morning.

FRANK: George, let me be very clear.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Real quick.

FRANK: What she wants to do -- and what all the Republicans want to do -- is no regulation at all. Ms. Blackburn voted...

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKBURN: No, no, Barney. I didn't speak for you. You don't speak for me.

FRANK: Please let me...

BLACKBURN: No, you're trying to speak for me. I will not allow you to do that.

FRANK: This pattern of interruption...

BLACKBURN: Good to be with you, George.

FRANK: George, you know, the pattern of...

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know what? I'm afraid -- I'm afraid we're out of time, Congressman. I'm afraid we really have run over...

FRANK: Well, I'm sorry, but she voted against this. This pattern of interruption and filibuster is really not a good way to discuss important issues. She voted for no regulation at all in 2010. They all did.

BLACKBURN: No. No, Barney. You can't speak for me. I didn't speak for you.

FRANK: That was the vote that you took! You voted...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you. I -- I got to go. I got to go.

FRANK: I'm -- I'm quoting your vote. I'm not speaking for you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you both for your time this morning.

FRANK: I'm quoting your vote.

BLACKBURN: Thank you. Good to be with you. Thanks.

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