Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Surprising Profile of Barney Frank


Now one of the most powerful people in America, I was surprised by the fairly positive profile in the Economist, a magazine that isn't very sympathetic to the Barney Frank world view:

But his talents have never been put to better use than they are today. He has been a fixture on the financial services committee since 1981, mastering arcane detail about everything from securities to insurance. He has been at the centre of the financial crisis from the start: Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, made him the Democrats’ chief negotiator with the Bush administration back when Lehman Brothers collapsed.

Mr Frank has also accumulated a long record of brokering deals between free-market Republicans and pro-regulation liberals—experience that is standing him in good stead when it comes to balancing the conflicting demands of the pragmatists in the Treasury and the populists in Congress. He claims to be a strong supporter of free markets, and has provided plenty of evidence that this is more than talk. He has refused to sponsor legislation regulating hedge funds, backed many free-trade agreements, and has voted against farm subsidies.


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