This video of a Harvard Law student asking Barney Frank about his role in the financial crisis is going ’round the internets. The student merely asks, “How much responsibility, if any, do you have for the financial crisis?” Frank flips out a little bit, accusing the student of repeating right wing talking points and trying to bring him down (in his defense apparently he had been subjected to a few crazy questions directly before this one). He then defends himself by arguing that there was nothing he could have done between the time he became chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and the financial meltdown. He also implicates hedge funds and right-wing deregulation as the real culprits.
It’s been kind of overshadowed by other events and Chris Dodd’s transgressions, but it’s worth mentioning that Frank is absolutely as guilty as anyone for the wreckage of the economy. It’s a crime that not only has he not been ridden out of office on a rail, he also has a considerable role to play in the directing the economy from now on.
For a refresher, see Jeff Jacoby’s “Frank’s Fingerprints Are All Over the Financial Fiasco” from the Boston Globe. Also check out the WSJ’s summary of Frank’s obstructions of Republicans’ efforts to rein in Fannie and Freddie over the years.