“I need to make some money,” former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) told the Financial Times while defending his role as a board member of Signature Bank, which was shut down by New York state regulators on Sunday.
Frank had no regrets over his role on Signature Bank’s board of directors, reported the Financial Times. He said:
I worked as a member of Congress for a certain objective. And then having retired, not having a pension by my choice, not wanting to be a lobbyist for reasons personal, I need to make some money.
I do it in part by writing. But I also do it by joining boards. Logically, I’m asked to join boards on subjects with which I was identified.
The former congressman said the U.S. banking system is in “very good shape,” partially crediting the Dodd-Frank Act with what he said was the industry’s current state of well-being.
The Financial Times reported that Frank expressed disappointment with Signature Bank’s closure and was “chagrined because obviously people will say, ‘Oh, hey mister, you told everybody else how to run a bank and the bank you were helping run failed.’”
Signature Bank’s online profile of Frank highlights his former role as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee from 2007-2011 as professional bona fides. It heralds his conduct as a legislator:
As Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Mr. Frank was instrumental in crafting the short-term $550 billion rescue plan in response to the nation’s 2008-2009 financial crisis. Later, he cosponsored the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was signed into law in July 2010.
Mr. Frank’s extensive experience as a Congressman, and particularly as Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, led the Board to conclude that he should be a member of the Board.
Moody’s Investor Service, a credit rating business that markets itself as a credible financial research firm, downgraded its rating of America’s banking system to “negative” from “stable” in a report on Monday. It warned of an existing risk of bank runs at U.S. banks with substantial unrealized losses.
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