Basel a man? Oops! More fodder for Jon Stewart’s Gretchen Carlson “dumbing [herself] down” segment? Perhaps, the former Miss America, Stanford cum laude alum, and, yes, classical violinist (vid), is not dumb but she certainly did not adequately prepare this morning for a business segment. But, co-anchor Steve Doocy and FBN Senior Correspondent Charles Gasparino seemed to wish that she had.
During an F&F segment prosaically entitled “Politics or Good Policy? Frank Pushes to Reform the Fed Voting Rights,” Steve quoted JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s attack on Basel III banking capital rules as being “anti-American.” Afterwards, Steve explained, “What the Basel is saying is that you [banks] have to up the amount of cash in the kitty.” Concurring, biz whiz Gasparino elaborated, “There is a global regulation known as the Basel Accord: This is Basel III. And, they’re saying you need to basically up the amount of cash, the amount of capital on hand for a bank.” Subsequently, Gretchen weighed in–much to her chagrin.
Almost dismissively, a prolix Gretchen opined, “Right. But, the big story here–because most Americans don’t study Basel, Basil, whoever he is on a daily basis–the big story is that this leader of JPMorgan, one of the most esteemed banks in the world, has paid many visits to this White House and appeared to be a supporter of this President and for him to come out with this kind of anti-regulation argument is very substantial.” [Underscored and italicized for emphasis.] In response, both Steve and Gasparino gulped in apparent astonishment. As they tried to remain stone-faced, Steve could not quite suppress a slight smile nor Gasparino a subtle smirk.
As Gretchen should have well known, Basel is not a he. Rather, it is Switzerland’s third largest city. More to the point, it is the home of the Secretariat of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision which developed those very “comprehensive set of reforms” known as Basel III.
No, Basel is not an herb either.
Related Carpe Diem stories include “No, I’m Not Dumbing Myself Down!” (December 14, 2009); “Gretch: Sorry, I Actually Was Valedictorian” (July 1, 2010); and “Gretchen Carlson’s ‘Release’” (December 2, 2010).