James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Bair vs. Pandit: Be cool people!

June 5, 2009

A sneak preview of my upcoming column on the WSJ report that the FDIC’s Sheila Bair is trying to push out Citi’s Vikram Pandit:

What’s more this apparent play to push out Pandit comes at the same time Bair has been suggesting the FDIC be designated at the new “super-regulator” to deal with systemically important financial institutions. (The Federal Reserve now appears likely to get the designation instead.) All this plays into a growing suspicion — originally sparked by her quick-trigger seizure of Washington Mutual — that the former business school professor and Republican political aide, passed over for Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary, is doggedly determined to maintain her “power player” status in the nation’s capital.

Enough. Enough now. The first 4 1/2 months of the Obama administration has seen record spending, the de facto nationalization of General Motors and Chrysler, and the legislative wheels put in motion for the wholescale, government-led revamping of the country’s healthcare and energy industries. Any business or investor looking for certainly or stability in public policy would find only the whirlwinid. This all began on Wall Street, let it end there as well. Allow the banks to take advantage of the favorable yield curve and inch their way back to health — and let the head of the FDIC return to relative anonymity.

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