Why Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn) Should Resign Today - Sen. Bob Corker: 'The bill as it now is written allows ... bailouts in perpetuity'
He says, to Ezra Klein:
EZRA KLEIN: Was Sen. Mitch McConnell correct? Is the Dodd bill, as currently written, a permanent bailout?
BOB CORKER: I've cautioned against hyperbole. But the fact is that the bill as it now is written allows numerous loopholes that allow a situation where you could have bailouts in perpetuity. It's a fair statement...
Okay. So there we are. And so Ezra probes:
EZRA KLEIN: I think it would be useful for us to get very concrete here. So what is a "bailout," exactly?
BOB CORKER: A bailout is when the government comes to the aid of a company after the company begins to fail. The government comes in and creates mechanism for its survival.
EZRA KLEIN: My understanding is that the bill's resolution authority mandates that a company gets liquidated if it has to tap into the $50 billion resolution fund. Shareholders get wiped out. Management gets wiped out. The company gets taken apart. Am I wrong in any of that?
BOB CORKER: That's exactly right. What you've just said is true...
Which is why Senator Corker should resign today.
And then he starts to spin:
But there are a ton of technical things.... I have a list of 14 items that we're sharing with Treasury that we want them to look at.... I think they're very willing to look at them. I hope what you get out of this is that [Senator] Mark [Warner] and I have no issue [or disagreement here].... The way the language is written right now, the resolution process could be used on an auto company. We want this clearly, solely to apply to financial institutions. That's just one example of a definition type of thing.... I think the rhetoric has been overheated, and I've cautioned against it...
Then it what sense is McConnell's claim that the bill is a permanent bailout, Senator Corker?
And then he spins some more:
There are other things, too. The bill does not adequately deal with... that underwriting was really bad. Now, we have to end any discussion of companies being too big to fail. But there are other important issues...
And Ezra tries to guide the conversation:
EZRA KLEIN: As someone who just covered the health-care debate, yesterday was a bit worrisome to watch. This bill has been constructed without much public attention.... [B]efore we're even getting a chance to really ask whether it's structure is appropriate, McConnell is calling it a permanent bailout without offering any alternatives...
BOB CORKER: I think that's right, and unfortunately what happens in these debates is that if you take a complex bill and reduce it to four message points, it doesn't do our country or constituents a good service. But in politics, it works very effectively. What I try to do is say it's fair to say this is a criticism. It's fair. But we can fix it! And then let's fix it. And make sure the bill works to help create financial stability. There'll be more crises, but let's try to learn from what's occurred.
EZRA KLEIN: On that same point, it's a bit hard for people to understand what that criticism is right now, and so it's hard to judge if it has been fixed, or should be fixed. You've said you've got 14 items of concern. Will you release them publicly so people can see whether they agree?
EZRA KLEINBOB CORKER: Well, if I do that then what happens is that the lines get hardened. And I'm not trying to be offensive, but a bunch of this read in the abstract would read like Greek. One of the issues is deeming language, which is very important. But I don't want to release it...
I don't think any country's legislature needs a Senator like Corker. Does anybody?