So the Senate is going to water down Dodd-Frank and make eventual bailouts more likely with the votes of around 12 Democrats from purple-red states. But there’s no real constituency for this in those states. It’s not like conservatives liked it when the banks failed and supported bailouts, which is what Dodd Frank was created to prevent. So why?
This started as a legit (maybe) effort to help community banks that weren’t the cause of the 2008 meltdown. Sen. Sherrod Brown was part of it then, but he walked away when it expanded way past that to help those community banks with say $250B in assets. That’s some community.
In the name of mild relief for community banks, these institutions — which have been christened “stadium banks” by congressional staff opposing the legislation — are punching a gaping hole through Wall Street reform. Twenty-five of the 38 biggest domestic banks in the country, and globally significant foreign banks that have engaged in rampant misconduct, would get freed from enhanced supervision.
The bill is known as the Crapo Bill named for the Senator from Idaho. He uses a long “a” in the pronunciation, but I think he’s earned the short “a” pronunciation. What I can’t figure out is why senators like Tester and Heidkamp, who if anything come from more populist states, which is why those states supported Trump, would want to help Citibank evade oversight.
As Atrios says this morning:
One of the running themes of this sucky blog is much of what is generally described as the “political center” is not and “moderate politicians” are not. Such “centrism” is mostly about issues and votes which have no constituency where Democrats are willing to join with Republicans (yay, bipartisan!). Or, at least, no constituency of voters. They’re things which, usually, have a constituency of big donors. They aren’t our principled deal-making “last honest people of Washington.” They’re our most corrupt.
Thinking otherwise allows corrupt Dems to join with equally corrupt Republicans to do things like this, and con people into thinking it’s about “principled moderation” and that (in some cases) they’re just representing their red state voters. Crazy liberals can’t win in Missouri! Only principled moderates can!
No voters in Missouri want to eviscerate banking reforms. The most you can say with respect to electoral viability is that by pleasing big money, you prevent big money from going after you at election time. That might be true. But that’s because they’re going to run ads about other issues (the laundry list of Liberals Are Bad), not because supporting bank regulations is going to turn off independent minded swing voters.
So the Nunbergering we got yesterday kept this issue off the TV, no time to call your Senator now and plead for sanity. Funny how that happens.