https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-18/warren-presses-mnuchin-over-christmas-eve-call-with-regulatorsWe never don't enjoy watching Steve Mnuchin play-act at being Treasury Secretary, but there are moments that transcend entertainment and become historically notable clusterfucks.
Sure, watching Steve and his mousey wife literally play with literal new money is fun, but watching Steve present a radical new tax code via one-sheet of paper and nod details is amazing. Steve getting heckled and triggered by college kids is hilarious, but Steve going on live TV to calm markets and triggers investors is fantastic.
But nothing might ever beat Steve's brilliant Christmas Eve decision to apparently watch the HBO "documentary" Too Big To Fail, felt like he wanted to be part of a real crisis, saw the market shit itself a bit and then started calling bank CEOs to make sure that everyone had ample liquidity for the crisis that existed only in his own psyche. But what makes this Mnooks greatest moment is that he clearly missed the implied sense of "What are you even talking about, man?" tone of Jamie, BriMo, D-Sol, Corbat, etc., and went right ahead in letting the American people know that we were all safe from the roiling financial crisis that we didn't even know was happening.
What a tweet! What a guy!
But the moment was almost too good because it made it harder for everyone to ignore the question that we've been asking about Mnooks for years now: Is he dangerously inept or mindbogglingly stupid? And now, famed wallflower Elizabeth Warren would like for her old pal Steve to help her figure out this riddle...
Senator Elizabeth Warren has asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for details about an emergency phone call he made to financial regulators on Christmas Eve that spooked investors, triggering memories of a market liquidity crisis not seen since the financial crisis in 2008.
Yeah, because, like...
“The public announcement of these calls was a rare step for a Treasury secretary to take,” Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, wrote in a letter to Mnuchin dated Jan. 18 and obtained by Bloomberg News. The “calls sought to assuage a concern -- the liquidity of banks -- that neither banking regulators nor executives had publicly indicated was a problem.”
So, once again, Mr. Secretary; were you being an out-of-control glory boy or a confused and scared glory boy? And in the off chance that Steve Mnuchin actually saw something that no else saw, understood it on a deeper level than experts and then acted on it publicly to assuage fears that only he saw existed, Warren would really like to know what he saw...
“Given the out-sized role of liquidity problems in the 2008 financial crisis, we would like to better understand the risks to the U.S. banking system that triggered your concerns and prompted this rare public statement,” Warren wrote in her letter.
And if Mnuchin won't answer her [SPOILER ALERT: He won't], Warren would like to hear about the other side of the conversation.
Warren also sent letters to each of the six banking executives that Mnuchin called before Christmas, asking how events during the week of Dec. 17 affected liquidity, whether they see liquidity risks, and details about the call and actions taken after.
She sent the letters to Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Mike Corbat from Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs & Co.’s David Solomon, James Gorman of Morgan Stanley, Tim Sloan of Wells Fargo & Co. and Brian Moynihan of Bank of America Corp.
So it looks like Warren's staff should prepare to receive six letters that read:
Fucked if I know what that idiot is ever talking about.
Happy New Year.