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Chris Dodd's strange idea

A sizable portion of the United States Congress wants to fire the Secretary of the Treasury. The Treasury Department itself is overworked and understaffed, with a number of key nominations sitting in limbo even as the agency struggles to handle the worst financial crisis in generations. And amidst all that, Chris Dodd is going to release legislation making the Treasury Department much, much, much more central to the regulation of the financial industry? Why?

By Ezra Klein  |  February 19, 2010; 3:22 PM ET
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Ezra, Ezra, Ezra, you can be so perceptive and yet sometimes so dense. The answer is perfectly obvious early on in the piece you linked to: "the Treasury secretary would head a council of regulators ..." Whenever faced with a problem, Washington likes to add a layer of bureaucracy. That way, no one's turf is invaded and Congress and the President can say they fixed the problem. Other than the minor inconvenience that it actually adds to the problem, it's the perfect solution.

Posted by: ostap666 | February 19, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Because Dodd rightly believes at some point 'firing of an incompetent Treasury Sec.' issue can be resolved in future and the 'accountability' can come into the play.

I support this idea of Treasury Sec. to be responsible for Council Head because - you get it wrong, not only you get fired; but the party of the President who appointed the person suffers, rightly.

No one gets punished in election for appointing a wrong Fed Chief.

Posted by: umesh409 | February 19, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Dodd is starting to feather his nest with promises of cushy lobbying jobs, working for the Wall Street scumbags who have looted our citizenry. I'm sure this legislation is just his latest marching orders from Goldman Sachs.

Posted by: pointy | February 19, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Maybe because he's in the tank for the bankers.

Posted by: obrier2 | February 19, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

i've been quite disappointed in Dodd recently. you'd think the fact that he's retiring would free him of any electoral constraints and allow him to really get after it. but, it appears just the opposite is happening.

Posted by: freaktown | February 19, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Optimist until the end.

Still, what's the alternative? I saw Ezra and a lot of people clamoring for the creation of an entirely separate bureaucracy, which would be subject to the same issues, increase overhead costs, and have turf battle issues galore.

Posted by: staticvars | February 19, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I concur with obrier2 & freaktown above.

Bottom-line is that I don't *trust* Dodd.

My guess is that he will be pushing "swiss cheese" reform to head off "real" reform next Congressional session.

Basically Dodd is positioning himself for a lucrative K Street position representing the financial industry after he retires.

That said, Ezra you should challenge Senator Dodd to explain his bill provision-by-provision in *plain English* on YouTube. (And yes we have all day.)

In addition, maybe you could frame critical discussion in terms of chart 6 of [1], which has been lauded as describing the "real" problem that needs to be solved.

[1] Raj Date, "Through the Looking Glass (Stegall): Banks, Broker Dealers, and the Volker Rule, Cambridge Winder Center, January 27, 2010.

Posted by: msa_intp | February 19, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Maybe dodd wants to be the next treasury secretary. He is done in the senate soon. If I was a wagering man that is where I would put my money...

Posted by: Levijohn | February 20, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

That would be an absolutely terrifying appointment.

Posted by: truck1 | February 20, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

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