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Mitch McConnell Changes his Tone

After a week of attacking the pending legislation as a ticket to new taxpayer “bailouts,” McConnell is striking a different tone. Monday on the Senate floor, he called for lawmakers to move beyond “personal attacks and questioning each others’ motives” to “fixing the problems in this bill.” – McConnell softens tone on finance regulation bill

Somebody must have finally read Mitch McConnell the substance of the financial regulatory bill now making it’s way through the Senate.

Either that or maybe someone gave him a tape of Austen Goolsbee’s appearance on “Morning Joe” today. According to Goolsbee, any financial institution that fails in the future will not be bailed out. The word from him was: “break it up and sell it in pieces of liquidate it.”

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Perhaps that’s the reason McConnell changed his tone, even if NRCC spokesman Ken Spain has not. From Greg Sargent:

“We plan to remind voters that Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic majority was built and protected with money from the very same Wall Street entities that they plan to provide permanent bailouts for,” NRCC spokesman Ken Spain emails. Republicans point out that Dem Rep Brad Sherman, who’s on the Financial Services Committee, has endorsed the claim that the Dodd bill would lead to “permanent bailout authority.”

Republicans continue to forget that the first big bailout came under George W. Bush. That most in the financial industry thought it was imperative, even if political analysts like me did not. As for too big to fail, I simply don’t think there should be any such thing and no one has convinced me otherwise yet.

Republicans will throw tantrums right up until it comes down to voting. But they will not get caught on the wrong side of Wall Street reform in an election year.

Another financial tidbit comes from Dan Froomkin who has a terrific piece up on Robert Rubin, who former Pres. Bill Clinton put back in the spotlight this past Sunday in his interview with Jake Tapper, regarding derivative regulation. As Froomkin notes, Tapper updated to say that evidently Clinton misspoke and conflated the issues, leaving what Rubin believes on derivatives “a mystery.” However, there is no evidence that Rubin supported derivatives regulation back when it could have counted. However, today he told the Huffington Post he actually had.

“I thought we should regulate derivatives; I thought so when I was at Goldman Sachs and I thought so afterwards,” he told HuffPost during a break at an event for the Hamilton Project, a think tank he founded to support Wall-Street-friendly Democrats. Rubin was chairman at Goldman Sachs before joining the Clinton administration in 1993; after he left, he went on to head Citigroup, which he nearly bankrupted with his excessive risk-taking.

At this point all I can do is quote Jon Stewart by saying, “These f@#!—ing guys.”

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