Rewarding Failure At Treasury
by Josh Orton, Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:25:41 AM EDT
This is just obnoxious:
Tim Geithner's new nominee for number two at the Treasury Department, Neal Wolin, played a key role in drafting legislation in the late 1990s deregulating the banking system, a former Treasury Department official confirms to us.
The law that Wolin helped draft has been blamed by some critics, many of them Democrats, for easing up regulatory pressure on huge financial institutions, tangentially helping create today's mess -- and his role drafting it could come under questioning at his upcoming confirmation hearings.
Stuart Eizenstat, a deputy Treasury secretary under Bill Clinton, confirmed that as Treasury's general counsel at the time, Wolin "provided the technical and legal drafting" for the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act repealed Glass-Steagall (among other things).
To be fair, as general counsel Wolin perhaps didn't have much say about whether the bill was good policy...maybe he was more focused on executing the decisions of others.
And yet there's something oddly insular about picking Wolin - perhaps it's tone-deafness, or maybe Treasury figures that too few people even realize the effects of deregulation (or that it happened).
The WH thinks Krugman's "naive," doesn't talk to him, and puts the deregulators in charge. Urg.