This post is a follow-up to a February 1, 2015 post regarding Timothy Bowler. In that post, there is mention of the revolving door problem between Wall Street and Washington, DC, though it did not mention President Obama’s Executive Order 13490 — Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel. That Executive Order will be addressed here.
Timothy Bowler had worked for Goldman Sachs prior to working for the Treasury Department, where he worked as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability from 2011 to June 2015. Apparently, Mr. Bowler has returned to Goldman Sachs. I personally was unable to verify this fact (although his LinkedIn page states he is currently a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs… not sure if that is updated), but rather rely mainly on what Josh Rosner mentioned in an April 2016 tweet.
Based on Mr. Bowler’s actions, it appears that he violated the Executive Order twice – once upon joining the government and again when he left the government.
The previous February 2015 post had Mr. Bowler describing how Goldman Sachs could take a share of Fannie and Freddie’s business – Mr. Bowler was quoted in a July 2011 article…the same month he went from GS to Treasury.
By now, we know that Tim Bowler was a key architect of the Third Amendment to the PSPAs.
For those who want further proof, Jeff Foster pointed out in his deposition:
“FOSTER: There were a number of people that were working on the PSPAs.
PATTERSON: And who were they?
FOSTER: To my knowledge, myself, counsel, Tim Bowler, Michael Stegman, Mary Miller and Adam Chepenik, Beth Mlynarczyk. There were many people working on it.”
Additionally, the record is extensive that proves Mr. Bowler’s focus while at Treasury was his work to put Fannie and Freddie out of business.
The following passage is the Exec Order than banned Mr. Bowler’s activities:
- Revolving Door Ban All Appointees Entering Government. I will not for a period of 2 years from the date of my appointment participate in any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to my former employer or former clients, including regulations and contracts.
The above passage referred to Tim Bowler’s actions when he joined the government. However, Mr. Bowler is also apparently in violation of the next two passages, as well which relates to his departure from his high-ranking government position.
- Revolving Door Ban Appointees Leaving Government. If, upon my departure from the Government, I am covered by the post employment restrictions on communicating with employees of my former executive agency set forth in section 207(c) of title 18, United States Code, I agree that I will abide by those restrictions for a period of 2 years following the end of my appointment.
- Revolving Door Ban Appointees Leaving Government to Lobby. In addition to abiding by the limitations of paragraph 4, I also agree, upon leaving Government service, not to lobby any covered executive branch official or non career Senior Executive Service appointee for the remainder of the Administration.
The White House visitor log shows that Tim Bowler has attended several meetings regarding housing finance. These records are for 2015 — the 2016 log will not be released until January 2017. The log shows that Mr. Bowler visited the White House seven times from when he left the government in June 2015 to December 31, 2015. Mr. Bowler was even a guest of the Obamas for a large Thanksgiving celebration on November 28, 2015.
The other six meetings were hosted by the National Economic Council (NEC), the White House group responsible for housing finance (and where Michael Stegman worked while at the White House, after his Treasury position).
Mr. Bowler met with Adrienne A. Harris, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, National Economic Council at the White House on October 13, 2015.
Mr. Bowler returned two days later to meet with NEC staff again on October 15, 2015. This time, Mr. Bowler was accompanied by Adam Chepenik, Deputy Director at U.S. Department of the Treasury. Mr. Chepenik was a co-author of the Third Amendment.
On several occasions (10/27, 11/16, 12/1 and 12/16) large groups of attendees, including Tim Bowler, met with NEC staff.
Here is a sampling of attendees at one meeting (11/16):
Elaine Buckberg, Stephen Campbell and Julian Colbert (Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs) from Treasury. Plus, two attorneys from Treasury — Brendan Crimmins and Mark Kaufman.
Monique Rollins, Director of Capital Markets at Treasury (who reported to Tim Bowler when he was at Treasury)
Ms. Rollins gave a presentation in February 2016 outlining Treasury’s commitment in revitalizing the private label securitization mortgage market (if you’re keeping score at home more PLS likely means less Fan/Fred business; more PLS means more business for Tim Bowler’s GS).
Also from Treasury: Mark McArdle, Office of Financial Stability and Deputy Assistant Secretary Housing & TARP; Glen Sears, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Housing, Banking and Finance; and Sam Valverde, Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Domestic Finance.
From HUD: Edward Golding, (formerly from Urban Institute and FMCC); Thomas Heinemann, Senior Legislative Advisor; Benjamin Metcalf; Erika Moritsugu and Theodore Tozer, President of Ginnie Mae (likely recipient of Fan/Fred business if they were wound down)
Two former government officials were also at this meeting, which could indicate that they too violated the Revolving Door executive order:
Olga Gorodetsky, Managing Director, MAX Exchange (Mortgage Asset Exchange)– former Senior Policy Advisor at Treasury – left July 2015
Beth Mlynarczyk, VP Two Harbors, A REIT company – former Senior Advisor to the Counselor on Housing Finance Policy at Treasury until 2014
Each of the other meetings listed above that Mr. Bowler attended were similar as far as 20+ attendees of high-level current and/or former government officials.
This blatant disregard for the law is disturbing. Everyone attending these meetings would have known that Tim Bowler was breaking the law by his presence…especially the Treasury lawyers who attended the meetings with him. Those lawyers, and everyone else present, participated in this legal wrongdoing.
One meeting, on 10/27/15, Karen Dynan was in attendance. Dr. Dynan, Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy, is a very high-ranking Treasury official. Incredible…
It is obvious that no government official is concerned with either directly violating this Executive Order or indirectly assisting the violation by participation. This revolving door executive order takes two to tango, right? One to violate and the other to allow violation…
Perhaps these activities are a sampling of the general view of Administration officials that they are untouchable… above the law. No oversight department or agency will go after any other executive branch official.
And it’s clear that no legislative oversight committee is interested in holding executive branch officials accountable.
Perhaps our last hope is the judicial branch…
And as far as the Fourth Estate, the country’s Media, there exist fewer investigative journalists that pursue these types of stories.
If a Fifth Estate exists it would likely be the Banking and Financial Elite — that appear to have an omnipotent hidden hand — that control everything in this country. Could this oligarchy be the source that offers unlimited protection to government officials’ wrongdoing?
Would this Fifth Estate government official protection (sound like the Mafia?) extend to all wrongdoers in Fanniegate? It may be the only explanation of why so many (revolving door) officials feel so comfortable breaking so many laws…
Or can those of us that know the truth stand up to Goliath?