Senator Chris Dodd from Connecticut is scheduled to announce his retirement from the Senate tomorrow. In some ways, he has been a friend of the Latino community in that he supported initiatives to increase diversity, and he also is a Spanish speaker, having served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic in the 1960s. Three years ago, he even delivered the Democratic Hispanic Radio Address.
Dodd’s political troubles have been attributed in part to his connection with the Countrywide VIP mortgage program, which gave sweetheart deals to important politicos. The fallout from the mortgage and foreclosure crisis and the corruption within those companies is something that even tarnished Latino leaders. It is worth reminding everyone in light of Dodd’s pending retirement that Henry Cisneros, former cabinet secretary and Latino honcho, was on the Countrywide Board and also profited handsomely from his own ties to this toxic and now defunct company.
If y’all want a reminder of how some in the Latino political establishment was tied to the mortgage mess. I encourage you to read these two blog posts that I wrote early last year: The Great American Mortgage Scam & the Latino Community and The Great American Mortgage Scam & the Latino Community, Part II.
“the bill would create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency to regulate such things as credit cards and home mortgages. Banks that are “too big to fail” would, as a final resort, be required to reduce their size and consequently the risk they pose to the financial structure if regulators demanded it. A single banking regulator would be created from the patchwork system that currently allows banks to shop for the fattest and laziest cop.”
It will be interesting to see how the bank reform bill will evolve. Perhaps without having anything to lose, Dodd will push more aggressively…we can hope.
Updated 1/6/10: The Washington Post has a piece about how Dodd’s retirement may boost the chances for financial regulatory reform. Consumer advocates are hopeful that he will focus on policy that will benefit the citizens instead of the banks.