And Schutze and I were just talking about Steve Bartlett. Then a Friend of Unfair Park goes and sends this piece posted a little while ago to The New York Times's website about how the former mayor of Dallas (twixt Strauss and Kirk, for those new to town or who just plain forgot, and how could you?) is out to kill in its sleep the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Bartlett's now a lobbyist -- the president and CEO of The Financial Services Roundtable, a gig he's held for the past 12 years. And, specifically, reports The Times, he's out to squish the part of Dodd-Frank that limits the fees banks charge retailers on debit-card purchases. Which is what Bartlett's paid quite handsomely to do since, as The Times notes, he's "the head of a group representing 100 of the nation's largest financial institutions." Here's how young Ben Protess recaps Bartlett's post-mayoral life:
After serving as mayor of Dallas, Mr. Bartlett landed the top spot at the roundtable in 1999. He said he had been hired in part to "secure passage" of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed some of the Glass-Steagall restrictions on banks set after the Great Depression. The law, signed in 1999, allowed investment banks and commercial banks to merge, creating the Wall Street powerhouses that eventually proved too big to fail during the crisis.
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Which reminds me of something former Observer editor Peter Elkind wrote 153 years ago: "Bartlett displays a politician's gift for lashing out at straw men, rather than employing facts to address genuine issues -- as well as a total inability to admit doing anything wrong." Nice Hill Country house he's building, though. Not really.