Magazine article American Banker

Washington Poeple

Magazine article American Banker

Washington Poeple

Article excerpt

Autumn Snow Storm

It's been nearly six months since the Treasury Department revealed that Secretary John Snow had bought and sold government-sponsored enterprise debt while in office and simultaneously had made recommendations on how to revamp GSE regulation.

That did not stop Sen. Max Baucus, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, from referring documents on the issue last week to the Justice Department "for review and appropriate action."

Sen. Baucus said Friday that the documents, provided to the committee by Mr. Snow's outside counsel, "relate to possible conflicts of interest involving the Treasury secretary's financial investment."

Mr. Snow has insisted that the investments in debt of Fannie, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan banks were accidental and that he had instructed his financial adviser to invest in Treasury debt before he took office. He said he was unaware that he had invested $10 million in GSE debt, despite having received financial statements that identified them.

Jeffrey McCutcheon, Mr. Snow's adviser, confirmed Mr. Snow's account in an interview with American Banker in May.

Now It's Funds City

Financial services companies opened their wallets this summer to give Republicans a great, big welcome to the Big Apple.

The New York City Host Committee of the GOP convention reported last week that it had raised $84.2 million for the Aug. 30-Sept. 2 event. About 16% came from major financial services companies.

Donations included $2.3 million from Citigroup Inc.; $1.5 million from Goldman Sachs & Co.; $1.1 million from Merrill Lynch & Co.; $550,000 from American Express Co.; $530,000 from Bank of America Corp.; $500,000 each from American International Group Inc., Lehman Brothers, MetLife Inc., Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank AG; $300,000 from Freddie Mac; $275,000 from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; $250,000 from Fannie Mae; $200,000 from Credit Suisse First Boston Corp.; and $150,000 from MasterCard International, according to Political Money Line.

Fevered Pitch?

Senate Banking Committee member Jim Bunning, R-Ky., is facing an increasingly tough reelection battle because of questions about his mental health.

His 17-point lead in polls has shrunk to 8 points in recent weeks.

"The outrageous statements he has made in his rare public appearances are giving voters pause," The Courier-Journal of Louisville said in an editorial last week. "Has Sen. Bunning drifted into territory that indicates a serious health concern?"

In a debate last week Sen. Bunning, who turns 73 this week, opted against facing his Democratic opponent, Daniel Mongiardo, in person. Instead, Sen. Bunning debated via video hookup from Washington and used a TelePrompTer, according to Reuters.

Sen. Bunning has falsely claimed a union endorsement, said Mr. Mongiardo's Italian-American features make him look like a son of Saddam Hussein, and accused Mr. Mongiardo's staff of assaulting his wife and leaving her "black and blue." Mr. Mongiardo says the charge is not true, and press reports have deemed it "outlandish."

David Young, Sen. Bunning's campaign manager, told Reuters that the senator, a Hall of Fame pitcher, "hasn't been this sharp and in shape since he pitched his perfect game" for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1964. …

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