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Former Super Regulator Barney Frank Defends His Bank

My oh my. This tiger sure has changed his stripes. Does everyone in Washington eventually sell out?

It was a seemingly unthinkable scene: Barney Frank, co-author of the Dodd-Frank Act, the radical overhaul of the banking system after the 2008 global financial crisis, was having his very own Dick Fuld moment.

There was none of the Fuld-style shouting and ranting, but Frank, just like the former Lehman Brothers top executive had famously done, was taking to the phones to lament how authorities had unnecessarily shuttered the bank he helped oversee. Frank, to the surprise of some, landed on the board of Signature Bank, a New York-based lender that boomed during the pandemic. It was seized by regulators Sunday, making it the third US bank to collapse in just five days.

“I think that if we’d been allowed to open tomorrow, that we could’ve continued — we have a solid loan book, we’re the biggest lender in New York City under the low-income housing tax credit,” Frank said in an interview late Sunday night. “I think the bank could’ve been a going concern.”

—Barney Frank

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