The Dodd-Frank law is “destroying the financial industry itself,” says Chris Meek, a candidate for the Republican nomination in Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District. A former vice president of Goldman Sachs, Meek says regulation is hampering the economy. For evidence, he points to the Volcker Rule, which prohibits banks from trading in financial instruments for profit.
For years, the Glass-Steagall Act reigned, and though he doesn’t support reinstating the act, Meek argues some regulation is necessary. For instance, he believes Congress should standardize the foreclosure process. Currently, the process varies by state. And because banks direct underwater homeowners to call centers that are located in other states — and thus unfamiliar with multiple states’ procedures — confusion abounds.
Meek has dealt with this issue as head of the non-profit Start Now! The organization, founded by Meek in 2009, has brought flesh-and-blood representatives of banks together with underwater homeowners to save their homes from foreclosure. At its first event in Stamford, 60 homeowners attended, and 36 left with adjusted pay-back plans.
“And it wasn’t because they received federal money,” Meek told a local paper, “[It was] just from sitting down and being able to talk face to face with a loan officer.”
The candidate has some choice words for mortgage giants Fannie and Freddie Mac: They’re two of “the biggest reasons why we got into this mess.” They “shouldn’t be quasi-government agencies,” Meek contends. Rather, the government should “let them go be publicly traded companies on the stock exchange.”
Connecticut Republicans will choose their congressional candidates at a state convention in May, and Meek is one of three candidates currently in the race. Given his fluency on mortgage issues, however, Meek hopes his kitchen-table appeal will give him the edge.