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Monday, March 16, 2009

U.S. Moves Thrift HQ From S.F. to Dallas to Ensure Corruption-Free Oversight. Could Outsourcing Local Government Be Next?

Posted By on Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 2:50 PM

click to enlarge Will the last vestige of government to leave please lower the flag?
  • Will the last vestige of government to leave please lower the flag?

Scandal-plagued regional bank regulators' headquarters have been moved from South San Francisco to Dallas, suggesting the Bay Area is simply too corrupt and incompetent a site for serious watchdogs.

Last month, the director of the Office of Thrift Supervision stepped down after it was revealed that the South San Francisco-based West Region office signed off on falsified financial reports. In the scandal's wake, the agency announced March 16 that it would revamp its operations, moving oversight of western U.S. banks from the Bay Area to Dallas.

"Our mission is to effectively oversee a robust, innovative, safe and sound thrift industry," said Acting Director Scott Polakoff, in a statement announcing the change.

In addition to moving regulation of western banks from South San Francisco to Dallas, the agency will strip authority of local regulators to oversee large banks such as IndyMac, whose collapse was worsened by allegedly fraudulent accounting approved by ousted West Division director Darryl Dochow.

Removing regulatory oversight authority from San Francisco, site of some of America's most inefficient and compromised civil authority, is an excellent idea.

It's SF Weekly's hope that the Obama-era get-quickly-out-of-San Francisco regulatory reform program doesn't end with the OTS. Even greater efficiency and effectiveness might by realized by outsourcing the San Francisco Police Department to the FBI's Seattle bureau, shunting San Francisco elections and campaign finance oversight to Utah, and kicking the office of District Attorney to to District of Columbia.

Federalism seemed like a fine idea until the incompetence, immorality and ineffectiveness of San Francisco law enforcement and regulators showed otherwise. Thankfully, the Obama administration has begun to recognize this, beginning with the relocation of western OTS headquarters.

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Matt Smith

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