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Meet Your New House Financial Services Committee Chair

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The rest of America will be talking about Nancy Pelosi's rise and Donald Rumsfeld’s fall today. But we’re kind of bored by all that already. Besides the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives has important implications for something we actually do care about—finance.
Meet Barney Frank, the incoming chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. He’s thought to be a pretty bright guy. He’s openly gay. He’s been in Congress for as long as anyone can remember. There was some sort of sex scandal years ago but it’s not like he strangled his mistress or anything.
So what can we expect from Barney?
•He’s a friend of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and an opponent of those who want to reform those institutions with portfolio limits.
•He’s a friend of internet gambling, and argued quite forcibly against recent legislation against it.
•He makes most activist hedge fund managers seem like pussycats when it comes to outsized executive pay.
•We probably won’t see much Sarbanes-Oxley reform coming out of his committee. He’s said before that he doesn’t think there needs to be any broad legislative changes, although he’s hinted he’s open to changes at the regulatory level.
•A push to regulate hedge funds is now a lot more likely.
•He's a free trader.
•He's a fan of plans to make America more open to immigration.
Wall Street’s not exactly panicking about Frank’s turn in the chairman’s seat. His long years of experience on the Financial Services Committee have made him pretty familiar with the ways of Wall Street, so it’s not like some barbarian crashed the gates.


Meredith Whitney Not Worried About Jamie Dimon's Ability To Handle House Financial Services Committee, Unlike Some Chief Executives She Knows

As you may have heard, later today Jamie Dimon will once again testify on Capitol re: a certain whale's multi-billion dollar losses. Unlike last week's hearing, conducted by the relatively reasonable Senate Banking Committee, this time Dimon will face questions and screeching from the relatively bat-shit House Financial Services Committee, a group of people we hope will not hold back. Yet despite the HFSC's history of making witnesses look good, not matter how egregious their offense, by conducting inquiries in a manner that would suggest recreational bath salts abuse by the Congressmen and women, Bloomberg's Tom Keene expressed worry earlier this morning about Dimon's ability to navigate the hearing.  Would today be "tougher" for the JPM chief, Keene asked Bloomberg TV Surveillance guest Meredith Whitney? According to the analyst, Dimon be more than fine and while we're on the subject, not that you asked, she can think of another bank CEO who'd crack under Congressional questioning on account of the fact that he doesn't have eyes you could get lost in. So, 1. How dare you, lady? Lloyd's impish smile and comedic timing don't do it for you? And 2. We thought these kind of blows were reserved for Vikram. Banking Industry Must Reinvent Itself, Says Whitney [Bloomberg TV] Related: Meredith Whitney Cannot Stress Enough How Little She Thinks Of Citigroup