Over the years, I have developed relationships with elected and appointed people on both sides of the aisle. We have regular email exchanges about the topics of the day. The following comes to me from a high ranking GOP staffer in Congress. I have no ideas whether this represents anything more than a minority viewpoint amongst the GOP, but I found it noteworthy and received permission to share it.
The only editing I did was to change a few details to protect the sender’s identity.
Just got back from vacation, with Congress on an extended recess, and getting ready to go out again for elections. After that, nothing gets done in lame duck. Bet on Congress doing something to avoid the fiscal cliff, but not until doing everything possible to screw it up.
Romney looks like he’s toast. Which means four more years of more or less the same crap we’ve seen. Great for big banks–Michael Lewis has a piece out where he talks about how no one realizes just how good Obama (and he really means Geithner) were to Wall Street. Did you ever read that Lawrence Baxter piece I sent you? You should. Terrible title, but goes into detail on Obama doubling down on even bigger banks. “Betting Big: Value, Caution and Accountability in an Era of Large Banks and Complex Finance,” 31 Rev. Banking & Fin. L. XXX (Oct. 2012))
Republicans are up in arms about QE whatever. The big complaint seems to be that it may actually make things better. Funny part is imagining what Romney would want if he were president; surely he wouldn’t want the Fed choking off his recovery by tightening up. (Bit that no one picked up on: Hubbard talking about how great a job Bernanke had done and was doing, only to have Romney turn around a week later and say no way would he reappoint Bernanke as Fed chairman. Either the campaign is clueless and disorganized, or Romney really will say anything to be president.)
Some articles today talked about how Wall Street was starting to have second thoughts about a candidate who wants to turn off the spigot; a couple of weeks ago, the FT has a column on how Wall Street should be careful about wanting a Republican victory, because that means that the “break up the bank” types like Hoenig will have even more influence. Hard to figure out what’s what: Big GOP talking point is “Dodd-Frank did not end TBTF,” but then being absolutely schizophrenic on the issue of whether big banks are a good thing and whether the American economy needs big banks. Marx was wrong: capitalism will not collapse under the weight of its internal contradictions; The GOP, on the other hand . . .
The new Congress is going to have quite a shuffle of Chairman. You should pay attention to Jeb Hensarling, a Phil Gramm protege. He is likely to be running the House Financial Services committee, which ibviosuly impacts what you do. Hensarling’s really, really smart, charismatic, organized, and has a coherent view of the world.
Like Gramm, it’s a world view that turns out to be wrong–but at least it’s consistent . . .
Strip out my name and change a few details, and you can publish this. No one here reads anything other than Drudge and Breitbart, so I can sleep at night. All I ask is that you fix my grammar.
PS: I had forgotten about this. Four years later, it still makes me laugh. My party needs to stop taking advice from idiots.
Big Picture Conference looks good. I wish I liked Barofsky more; unfortunately, he seems more and more like a relentlessly self-promotional hack, and a shrill one at that. Patterson is awesome. His book should be getting a lot more press than it has; scared the hell out of me.