Wednesday, November 17, 2010

When Irish Eyes Are Balling

The prospect of U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd leaving the Senate has caused usually smiling Irish eyes to swell with copious tears. Vice President Joe Biden was among the ballers, according to a report in the Irish Times.

Mr. Dodd, who owns a cottage in County Galway, will be leaving the Senate at the end of his term. He has spent 35 years in the House and Senate, some of it profitably.

Ireland, once the tiger of Europe, has been suffering from the same financial crisis that plagues most of the Western World. In the Unites States, the housing crisis, precipitated by a degradation of lending standards, is thought to have precipitated the financial crisis. Both Dodd and newly re-elected U.S. Representative Barney Frank of Massachussets played a role in the lowering of banking standards. In neighboring Canada – remarkably free of Dodds and Franks and Countrywides and Fannie Maes and Freddie Macs – there is no housing crisis.

At the Dodd reception, held in the Irish Embassy in Washington, Ireland’s financial crisis was, according to the Irish Times, much on people’s minds, and it was thought that Mr. Dodd’s experience in Washington “might prove useful to Ireland. Last May, Dodd shepherded a major banking overhaul through the Senate. In July 2008, he won Senate passage of a bill to help homeowners and banks refinance troubled mortgages.”

May the luck of the Irish be with Ireland on that one.

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