Senator Dodd, the Senator from Countrywide, has liberated himself. He just refinanced his $781,000 sweetheart mortgages from Countrywide with another bank after saving thousands in finance costs.
The Senator’s poll ratings are in the tank in Connecticut and he is up for reelection in 2010. Being known as “A friend of Angelo” or the “Senator from Countrywide” is hurting his reelection changes. Therefore he must free himself from the Countrywide curse.
He has done so, at least in his mind.
Chris Dodd was also the Senator from Arthur Anderson. In exchange for $54,843.00 in campaign contributions from the firm, more that any other Democrat received, he fought to eliminate the firm from liability in the Enron collapse. He failed, but so did they; hence, no problem.
Senator Dodd is also the Senator from Fannie May and Freddie Mac, Citigroup, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, and a host of insurance companies.
Senator Dodd received $2.7 million from the financial industry in 2004. Citigroup contributed $198,550 and Bear Stearns $186,500 in the 2006 Election Cycle. AIG kicked in an additional $121,378.
He must free himself from them; he must show that he is for the people and not for the financial industry. The Senator was known to be easy on the financial industry, but now he will be hard and tough.
Senator Dodd facilitated the passage of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998. These statutes were a needed improvement in the fight against strike suits, such as those specialized in by the corrupt firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad, Schulman & Lerach.
Forget the moneyed classes of Greenwich and Stamford; he must now demagogue the poor of Hartford, and Bridgeport, and New London, and New Haven. Perhaps the voters will have short memories!
The chameleon from Connecticut is now a populist.
The Obama Administration was toying with the idea of limiting bonuses to $500,000 for executives of companies receiving TARP funds. Over the strong objections of the Administration, Senator Dodd buried in the fine print of the Stimulus Bill a draconian bonus limitation.
The top five executives and 20 highest earners at banks receiving TARP funds are limited to bonuses no higher than 1/3 of their regular salary. Any bonuses are to be in restricted stock. Base salaries are normally low, with bonuses awarded on performance. The practical effect of these new restrictions will be to cripple performance in these firms.
Capitalism without incentives is statism or socialism.
So what if the provisions are so onerous that key personnel would be driven from the companies to competitors. Some top performers are already receiving 5-6 offers a day to change firms and bring their customers with them. That is the price to pay for the Senator’s reelection.
A true political chameleon, Senator Dodd, ostensibly the Senator from Connecticut, was also the Senator from Iowa last year as he moved his family to Iowa in an attempt to capture the Iowa Caucus.