John Ransom

The Wall Street Journal reported that prior to the bailout Waters’ disclosure showed the bank stock owned by her husband to be worth between “$250,000 and $500,000.”  The Journal also writes that bank employees “donated $12,500 to Ms. Waters' election campaigns.”

Democrats reportedly have been embarrassed by the fact that Waters would take over from Frank on the financial services committee and have suggested that they could dissuade her. But an article on Politico from late November has Waters actively campaigning for the top slot on finance.

“As the next most senior member of the committee, the current ranking member on the Capital Markets Subcommittee and the former chairwoman of the Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee, I hope to use my experience to continue and expand his work in the committee,” quoted Politico from a statement Waters released on Frank’s retirement. “I will continue to champion practical regulations, while making sure they work for consumers and the financial sector, a sector which has the right to be profitable but the obligation to be fair, two concepts which are not mutually exclusive.”

This is not that first time- or the second- that Waters has been in trouble for self-dealing. In 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2011 she was named to CREW’s Most Corrupt politician list.

Recently the Republicans on the ethics panel and one Democrat recused themselves from the current investigation of Waters’ bank dealings, "out of an abundance of caution and to avoid even an appearance of unfairness," said the committee chair according to the LA Times. That likely means bad news for Waters.

There would be no need to “appear” fair if Waters wasn’t about to have the gangplank run out on her by both parties.

If I were an investment banker inclined to make political donations, I’m pretty sure I’d be making them conditional on making sure Waters never gets close to regulating Wall Street.

Make no mistake, the financial services sector is the number one industry group for political donations and they have abandoned Obama and the Democrats, in part because of politicians like Barney Frank and Maxine Waters.    

According to data complied by Finance, Insurance and Real Estate industries donated $76 million to Democrat presidential candidates in 2008 and $65 million to Republicans. In 2012 so far, Finance, Insurance and Real Estate industries have donated about $6 million to the Democrats for Obama’s reelection and $22 million to Republicans for Obama’s defeat. In 2008, the industry slightly favored Democrats as a whole, with around 52 percent of campaign cash going to liberals and 48 percent to Republicans. So far, in this election cycle, the GOP has the advantage 52 percent to 32 percent.     

Conservatives will remember Waters fondly for her several foot-in-mouth moments, the most famous of which was when she ragged on an oil executive for high gas prices by saying “This liberal will be all about socializing, uh, uh, uh….”

What she was trying to say, yet not say at the same time, was that she would be all about socializing the oil industry, like her friend Hugo Chavez did down in Venezuela.

Can’t wait until she gets a crack at, uh, uh, uh, Wall Street.

But you can’t blame the Street for wanting to put off that opportunity for a long, long time.  

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John Ransom

John Ransom’s writings on politics and finance have appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Colorado Statesman, Pajamas Media and Registered Rep Magazine amongst others. Until 9/11, Ransom worked primarily in finance as an investment executive for NYSE member firm Raymond James and Associates, JW Charles and as a new business development executive at Mutual Service Corporation. He lives in San Diego. You can follow him on twitter @bamransom.

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