Irony? Barney Frank was paid $2 million to sit on the board of failed bank

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On the menu today: There’s something absolutely fascinating going on in the coverage of the current banking crisis. One of the two (or three? Four?) banks at the center of the story has a really prominent former congressman on its board of directors — a co-architect of how the federal government regulates banks. He’s known for his acerbic comments, and he’s doing a bunch of interviews right now in a hasty effort at reputation management. But you really have to look around to find anyone who’s casting this congressman as a villain in this story; he’s being treated as a mildly ironic bystander to the whole mess.

Whose Signature Is on the Banking Crisis?

Picture, if you will, a 16-term congressman who plays a major role in overhauling the nation’s regulation of banks. He then retires and joins the board of directors of a New York-based national bank traded on NASDAQ, a bank with assets of about $50 billion. As a former congressman and member of the bank’s board, he lobbies Congress to loosen the rules for banks like his, making the not-insane argument that the rules for a bank with about $50 billion in assets shouldn’t be the same as the rules for a bank with $1 trillion or more in assets…

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