Over the Independence Day holiday, I noted Loose Lips Chuckie Schumer’s appalling leak to the press of sensitive info related to Indymac bank’s financial insecurity. His blabbermouth caused a stampede that led to the bank’s collapse on Friday. Which led to FDIC intervention and taxpayer absorption of $8 billion in Indymac losses. Now, Chuckie’s wheedling: Don’t blame me!
Here are some choice quotes from the Senator as he tried to play the spin game on Sunday:
* “And now they are doing what the Bush administration always does: blame the fire on the person who calls 9-1-1.”
* The Office of Thrift Supervision was “asleep at the switch” when it came to IndyMac’s “reckless” behavior
* “OTS ought to stop pointing false fingers of blame and start doing its job to protect the future of the banking system, so that there won’t be other IndyMacs,”
* “IndyMac was one of the most poorly run and reckless of all the banks.”…”It was a spinoff from the old Countrywide, and like Countrywide, it did all kinds of profligate activities that it never should have. Both IndyMac and Countrywide helped cause the housing crisis we’re now in.”
* OTS is “known as a weak regulator,” and “my job was to try and toughen them up and that’s what I tried to do.”
Good points! But unless the regulators are lying, your letter still started the stampede.
Sen. Charles Schumer, hit with criticism from a federal regulator that he contributed to the failure of IndyMac Bank, said he may have caused some depositors to withdraw their money but said he wasn’t responsible for the bank’s downfall.
Sen. Schumer, a New York Democrat and member of the Senate Banking Committee, said IndyMac’s lending practices and lax federal regulation are to blame for the failure of the thrift on Friday.
He said he wrote letters to federal agencies in June, and then made them public, in order to increase pressure on the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Federal Housing Finance Board to conduct more aggressive oversight of IndyMac.
Like I wrote 11 days ago:
Democrat leadership: Not to be trusted with confidential information.
When Chuckie talks, markets balk.
Put those on bumper stickers and don’t forget it.
More from L.A. Land and the quip of the day from one of its commenters: