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March 27, 2013

Big banks' nightmare: Chairman Sherrod Brown


Brown has a reputation in the Senate as a workhorse — a high-energy, respected legislator, and he may be willing to scale back his rhetoric and proposals if it means getting some of what he wants into law.

“Barney Frank had a pragmatic streak,” said another former Senate aide, referring to the former House Financial Services Committee chairman known for his liberal politics. “[Both Barney Frank and Sherrod Brown] got a reputation that color how people view them. They evolve, but the reputation doesn’t.”

Brown has also managed to cultivate relationships with regional banks — U.S. Bank, Fifth Third Bank and KeyBank are all based in Ohio — and with the insurance industry.

“I think that unfortunately too many people try and promote … kind of a caricature of Sherrod Brown as a fire-breathing liberal,” said Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of Better Markets, a group that advocates for tight oversight of Wall Street. “But I think anybody who’s worked with him knows and understands that he’s a pretty thoughtful, open guy.”


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