TLP: "Grotestequely Inappropriate" Urges ...



Sorry to say, but the urge in question was a political one and involved trying to save a failing bank. Give me time, I'm just a Lazy Paperboy and I'm new here. JDA is surely good for an inappropriate urge or two. Scroll down, I'm sure you won't have to go far.

But here's U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, beseeching Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on behalf of First BankAmericano: "I write to ask the Federal Reserve to grant the attached application," Menendez wrote. "I urge you to support the proposed acquisition."

The Wall Street Journal busted Menendez with a FOIA request:

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey urged the Federal Reserve last July to approve an acquisition to save a struggling bank in his state. He didn't mention that the bank's chairman and vice chairman were big contributors to his political campaign.

If the acquisition had been approved, it would have prevented the two executives from losing what was left of their investments in the bank.

In his letter to the Fed July 21, Mr. Menendez said there was a strong likelihood that First BankAmericano, of Elizabeth, N.J., would fail in three days, which would "send yet another negative message to consumers and investors and further impact our fragile economy."

The Fed did not act on the request and the bank failed 10 days later.

The chairman and vice chairman of the bank both were described as major political contributors to Menendez, leading former federal bank regulator William Black to tell the WSJ that the senator's plea was "grotesquely inappropriate." Black has moved on to teach law and gives the Menendez letter an "F" for FAIL because it asked the Fed to take action, rather than just taking the standard political approach of, "Take a look at this one for me." And there's nothing inappropriate about that, right?

After the newspaper obtained the letter, Menendez issued a statement, saying that helping out the bank was the right thing to do. Constituent service ... seeking assistance ... legitimate federal matter ... just doing my job. "Telling them 'no' would be abdicating my responsibility," he said. An aide to the congressman copped to a poor choice in wording in making the request to approve the takeover.

Sometimes saying "no" is the best way to fight those urges.

The Lazy Paperboy

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.

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