Thursday, January 5, 2012


So Republicans are up in arms over the recess appointment of former Ohio Attorney General, Richard Cordray, to be our nation's top consumer protection agent. In the FYI category, the Constitution authorizes presidential recess appointees to serve until the end of the year, and don't require Senate confirmation. Cordray will head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The GOP is also upset that President Obama made recess appointments at the National Labor Relations Board. I say, So what ... Who cares? Apart from the fact that the GOP has been deliberately stonewalling President Obama's agenda, President Obama is no where near making the number of recess appointments per year that his predecessors have.

President Obama's hand was forced because Republicans made it clear that unless the CFPB were gutted, and turned into a paper tiger, they would never support anyone who was nominated to head the CFPB, regardless of party.

Simply put, the GOP doesn't like the idea of the CFPB — or anyone else — protecting the interests of ordinary taxpaying consumers. To be sure, they have no problem with Republicans in Congress protecting and subsidizing the interests of Wall Street and the big banks.

They just don't want anyone sticking up for the American taxpayers who underwrite the trillions in corporate bailouts. Go figure.

Anyways, the real problem Republicans have with Mr. Cordray - as the Raw Story's Linette Lopez points out - is that Cordray doesn’t just go after Wall Street Institutions. He goes after individual executives as well. Here are a couple of examples:

* In 2009, representing several state public pension funds, he reached a settlement with Hank Greenberg and other AIG execs that blew the SECs settlement out of the water. Cordray got $115 million, the SEC got a mere $15 million.

* The following year he settled another suit against AIG itself (also for Ohio) for $750 million. Some reports said the insurance company would actually be paying out $1 billion.

* And then there was the Bank of America Merrill Lynch merger. Cordray sued on behalf of Ohio pensions on the grounds that BofA concealed billions of dollars of Merrill Lynch losses from their clients before the merger. The case settled for $475 million.

Long story short? Cordray seems to understand the many and different ways Wall Street has screwed (or tried to screw) the American taxpayer. And he wants to hold them accountable.

Imagine that ...

- Mark

1 comment:

Laurie Kessler said...

Great information! Thanks!