Morningstar - Q3 2021 - 96

Ten Questions
Former Congressman Barney Frank
remains an outspoken advocate.
Laura Lallos, managing editor of Morningstar
magazine, interviewed Frank in May.
1. Did the Dodd-Frank Act accomplish what you hoped
it would?
Absolutely. If you said on the day the bill was
signed that 10 years later there would be
a terrible jolt to the financial system because of
a worldwide lockdown, most people would
have said, " Oh, jeez, that's going to be a problem. "
But financial instability was a nonevent during one
of the worst crises we've had in years.
2. What new problems might be on the horizon?
Crypto could be an issue going forward.
If you look at our financial history, the problem has
been innovations for which there were no rules.
3. Why did you join the board of LGBTQ Loyalty?
I obviously had a longtime interest in advancing
LGBTQ rights, and I also was an ETF investor.
When I heard there was a group putting together
an LGBTQ-supportive ETF, that was a no-brainer.
Barney Frank was chairman of the House
Financial Services Committee from 2007 to 2011
and co-sponsored the Dodd-Frank Wall
Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
in the wake of the financial crisis. The
Dodd-Frank Act helped stabilize the financial
system and provided a buttress during
the COVID-19 crisis a decade later. During his
32-year tenure in the U.S. House of
Representatives, Frank, D-Mass., was the most
prominent openly gay politician. In 2019,
Frank joined the board of directors of LGBTQ
Loyalty Holdings LFAP, which launched
the LGBTQ100 ESG ETF LGBT in May. Frank is
also on the board of Signature Bank SBNY and
marijuana company Beantown Greentown.
Photography by Matthew Lomanno.
4. What makes a company eligible for the LGBTQ 100?
They have to treat their LGBTQ employees
fairly. Before same-sex marriage was legalized
nationally, a differentiator was whether a
company recognized domestic partnerships. Going
forward, how companies treat people who are
transgender will be critical.
5. Do you think these companies have an advantage?
I think there is a correlation between being
supportive of LGBTQ issues and the intellectual
property area, the creative area. Beyond
that, it's important to make it clear that there's no
negative. Twenty years ago, businesses were
afraid to step up.
6. What is the best way to effect change?
I'm a strong believer in the political process.
I am less impressed with demonstrations.
96
Morningstar Q3 2021
After the financial crisis, we had two ideological
groups, the Tea Party and Occupy. The
Tea Party became a very effective political force.
Occupy didn't. I try to energize people to
vote for elected officials who will do the right
thing, and then lobby them hard.
7. What are you lobbying for these days?
I'm working on changing the federal law so that
banks can do business with marijuana companies
in states where they are legal. It's a very
important goal for regularizing the marijuana
industry. Marijuana is like same-sex marriage.
Forty years ago, people said, " Oh, that'll
be terrible; it'll ruin society. " And then we had it in
a couple of places, and nobody noticed any
negative impact.
8. What are the prospects for the Equality Act?
There are very few issues in America as partisan
as this one. We won't get the Equality Act
until we have a workable Democratic Senate and
House majority-that means somewhere in
the mid-50s on the Senate.
9. Is bipartisanship dead?
Bipartisanship is dead for now. In the fiscal
crisis, the Democrats under George W. Bush
were very bipartisan. Unfortunately, the
Republican Party has become totally opposed to
cooperation. I am hoping that the Republicans
will lose badly because of this. That will
give those who want to go back to a cooperative,
conservative-liberal competition the ability
to take back their party.
10. How are you spending your time in retirement?
I'm working on a book and writing a column
a couple of times a month for The Hill, and I'm on
three boards. But I'm not work-driven. I'm old, and
I like to relax and take naps.

Morningstar - Q3 2021

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