Today, Congress is discussing if and how to create a systemic risk regulator for the financial industry, which would oversee all financial institutions and prevent activities that could pose a threat to the entire economy. To analyze the feasibility and necessity of such a regulator, CNBC turned to President George Bush’s Deputy Press Secretary, Tony Fratto, who was introduced as a “CNBC Contributor.”
Fratto’s main point of concern with the push for regulation is that Congress is “dangerously” motivated by “vengeance” and might over-regulate:
Congress right now, Washington in general, is motivated — dangerously — by vengeance right now on the Wall Street firms and I think that’s a real concern. I know it’s a concern on the Street right now.
CNBC has been under fire for pandering to investors and billionaires, while failing to report that Wall Street was over leveraged, taking on too much risk, and in a position to implode the economy. So who does CNBC turn to to discuss policy aimed at preventing another meltdown? A Bush flack who:
– Said admitting that the country is in a recession was “relatively irrelevant” when implementing economic policy.
– Falsely claimed early last year that no one was predicting a recession.
– During the original TARP debate, “sought to beat back efforts to limit the pay of CEOs whose companies would draw assistance under the legislation.”
– Argued that TARP was “unfairly characterized as a boon to Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.”
Furthermore, Fratto worked for an administration that unveiled a sweeping deregulation plan just months before the economic crisis hit and appointed regulators who made it clear they planned to deliver less supervision over the financial services industry. Fratto also served as communications director for former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), who just last week said “I really do believe that the fundamentals of American economy is [sic] still strong.”