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With Signature Bank’s Collapse, US Reformer Barney Frank Watches His Own Lender Fail

  • Frank says Signature Bank could’ve remained a going concern
  • Former congressman doesn’t blame Trump-era banking rules
Barney Frank in Washington on Dec. 8.
Barney Frank in Washington on Dec. 8.Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

It was a seemingly unthinkable scene: Barney Frank, co-author of the Dodd-Frank Act, the radical overhaul of the banking system after the 2008 global financial crisis, was having his very own Dick Fuld moment.

There was none of the Fuld-style shouting and ranting, but Frank, just like the former Lehman Brothers top executive had famously done, was taking to the phones to lament how authorities had unnecessarily shuttered the bank he helped oversee. Frank, to the surprise of some, landed on the board of Signature Bank, a New York-based lender that boomed during the pandemic. It was seized by regulators Sunday, making it the third US bank to collapse in just five days.