regulate wall street


Trump’s Banksters and the Rollback of Dodd-Frank

Donald Trump has ordered a rollback of regulations over Wall Street, including the Dodd-Frank Act, passed in 2010 to prevent another too-big-to-fail banking crisis.

Perhaps Trump thinks that we’ve forgotten what happened when Wall Street turned the economy into a giant casino, and then – when its bets went sour in 2008 – needed a giant taxpayer funded bailout.

Maybe Trump thinks Americans forget losing their jobs, homes, and savings in the fallout.

Many people who voted for Trump got shafted. I hope they haven’t forgotten that while they suffered, not a single bank executive went to jail.  

Trump supporters need to join with Democrats and progressives in stopping this rollback, and holding Trump accountable.

The biggest banks are far bigger today than they were in 2008. Then, the five largest had 25 percent of U.S. banking assets. Today they have 44 percent. 

If they were too big to fail then, they’re too big period now. 

Getting rid of Dodd-Frank triples the odds of another financial crisis. 

Meanwhile, Trump has brought more banksters into his administration than any in any previous administration – mostly, from Goldman Sachs. 

The head of Trump’s economic council is Gary Cohn who was president of Goldman Sachs. Other Goldman alumni include Trump’s right hand man, Steve Bannon, Trump’s pick for Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s pick for the securities and exchange commission, Jay Clayton and another White House advisor, Dina Powell. 

Now remember, a decade ago, Goldman Sachs defrauded investors and ripped off its customers and it’s paid nearly $9 billion in government fines. 

Many of Trump’s banksters were there at that time. 

Don’t let Trump and the Republicans endanger our economy again. Let’s not make the same mistake twice.

Regardless of how Americans identify themselves ideologically, the majority embrace ideas that some might call socialist. For example, 74% think corporations have too much influence; 73% favor tougher regulation of Wall Street; 60% believe that “our economic system unfairly favors the wealthy;” 85% want an overhaul of our campaign finance system to reduce the influence of money in politics; 58% support breaking up big banks; 79% think the wealthy don’t pay their fair share of taxes; 85% favor paid family leave; 80% of Democrats and half the public support single-payer Medicare for all; 75% of Americans (including 53% of Republicans) support an increase in the federal minimum wage to $12.50, while 63% favor a $15 minimum wage; well over 70% support workers’ rights to unionize; and 92% want a society with far less income disparity.
Here's what's at stake as Trump moves to unravel Dodd-Frank
By James Rufus Koren

President Trump signed an executive order Friday that calls for his administration to review the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, with an eye toward revising or eliminating parts of the 2010 law.

An administration official told reporters that the law “in many respects was a piece of massive government overreach” and that some of the rules within the law, passed in the wake of last decade’s financial crisis, “may have even been unconstitutional.”

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The administration official who previewed Friday’s executive order said the law had, among other things, created “new agencies that don’t actually protect consumers.” That’s a not-so-subtle swipe at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency created by the Dodd-Frank act that has been a strict enforcer of consumer protection laws and that has crafted a bevy of new rules that apply to mortgage lenders, banks, credit card companies and other financial firms.

The bureau’s rules have made it less attractive — though not illegal — for mortgage lenders to make some types of risky loans that went bad and sparked last decade’s financial crisis. The bureau also been working on rules that would prevent banks and other financial firms from blocking class-action lawsuits by consumers and would require payday lenders to do more underwriting.

The bureau and its director, Richard Cordray, have been targets of Republican lawmakers, who argue that the bureau has been overly aggressive in enforcing rules and that its power should be crimped. Trump advisor Gary Cohn suggested in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that Trump may seek to replace Cordray, though Cordray’s term doesn’t expire until the middle of next year.

Proprietary trading

Dodd-Frank put limits on the kind of bets banks can make on their own behalf — also called proprietary trading. (Proprietary trades in mortgage-backed securities led to huge losses for banks in the lead-up to the financial crisis.) Under those limits, often referred to as the Volcker Rule after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, banks also are not supposed to make investments in certain riskier asset classes.

The rule was meant to prevent banks from taking too much risk, though it’s been criticized for making it harder for banks to hold certain types of securities that customers might want to buy. JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon famously criticized the rule, saying regulators would need a psychiatrist to help determine whether a trade was proprietary.

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It never ceases to amaze how Democrats are responsible for literally all Wall Street regulation, from the creation of the SEC under Truman to Dodd-Frank under Obama, and are responsible for all corporate and capital taxes, but still get called Wall Street shills.

@i-the-drop-bear I don’t want to reblog the whole post because it’s getting incredibly long and I don’t want to annoy my followers, but I wanted to address some of your points anyway.

The Democrats of the 90s are not the Democrats of today. I don’t get this insistence that it’s forever 1996, and the only two Democratic presidents of the last century were FDR and Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton was not “Republican lite”, he put Ginsburg and Breyer on the bench. He constantly vetoed some of the worst bills the Republican congress put in front of him. And we’ve moved way to the left since then. You have to have lived through these decades to appreciate how far we’ve come, not everything is about Wall Street regulations. Republicans said things about gay people that would force them resign today. There were at least 50 pro-life Democrats in the House, now there are 3. I’m not going to waste time with the bajillion examples but to pretend like we’re still in the Clinton era requires almost deliberate ignorance of the political landscape.

I can’t find it now, but I made a long post a month or two ago summarizing the crazy fight over Obamacare and how it was watered down by a complex set of political forces. It drives me nuts when people talk about it like it was a product of Obama’s weakness or capitulation. But on the topic of single payer, you’re not exactly the first person to suggest we take some money out of the military budget. You’re not even the millionth person to suggest that. But if there’s one industry lobby that’s more powerful than the health insurance companies, it’s the defense contractors. They don’t just draw their power from making substantial campaign donations. They strategically place their factories into congressional districts of vulnerable House members, and especially those who sit on the military appropriations subcommittees. Congressmen don’t vote for things that could hurt jobs in their district, and the defense industry exploits that. This is the level of power you’re dealing with. A bill that all but eliminates the health insurance industry while simultaneously taking billions from defense contractors is quite simply impossible. The only way to raise money for single payer is taxes. I take it from your use of the second person that you’re not from America, and this is why people should tread very lightly while commenting on the politics of countries they’re not from, because there’s critical nuance you don’t know. Americans don’t dislike taxes, they consider taxes immoral. They react to taxes as a deep personal affront. This country was built on riots over taxes. People get incredibly emotional about them, far out of proportion to whatever the taxes themselves are. Republicans in particular are fanatics about this. When you see a poll showing the unpopularity of a new tax, you’re not seeing mere disapproval, you’re seeing revulsion.

As for election turnout, 90% would be very nice but I don’t think we’ve ever had that. Again, it seems you’re not from America, so you might not know that we have a whole party that is devoted to making voting as difficult as possible, especially for POC or any group likely to vote Democrat. Our usual turnout in the 60% range isn’t only because of dissatisfaction, it’s largely because of suppression. Australia has mandatory voting, so of course they get 90% turnout, but out elections are controlled by the states, and a state needs a unified Democratic government just to get automatic registration.

You want hear any arguments from me about the war on terror, but Democrats have been veering to the right on foreign policy matters since the Cold War. It long predates Clinton or whatever point you imagine the Democrats sold out.

But all of this is just proving the point I was making on the original post, you’re completely ignoring the existence of countervailing forces in politics and treating Democrats as the only people with agency. It’s so much more complicated than that, and every glib assertion about how the only thing holding us back is liberal fecklessness damages our ability to fight the real enemy.


BAYONNE - N.J. - Nicole Adamczyk’s drinking water used to slosh through a snarl pipes dating from the Coolidge administration - a rusty rickety symbol of the nation’s failing infrastructure.

So, in 2012, this blue-collar port city cut a deal with a Wall Street investment firm to manage its municipal waterworks.

Four years later, many of those crusty brown pipes have been replaced by shiny cobalt-blue ones, reflecting a broader infrastructure overhaul in Bayonne. But Ms. Adamczyk’s water and sewer bills has jumped so much that she is thinking moving out of town. 

“My reaction reaction was, ‘Oh so I guess I’m screwed now?’” said Ms. Adamczyk, an accountant, and mother of two who received a quarterly bill for almost $500 this year.

Even as Wall Street deals like this one with the Bayonne help financially desperate municipalities to make much-needed repairs, they can come with a hefty price tag - not just to pay for new pipes, but also to help the investors earn a nice return, a New York Times analysis has found. Often, these contracts guarantee a specific amount of revenue, the Times found, which can water bills soaring.

Water rates in Bayonne have risen nearly 28 percent since Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, one of Wall Streets’ most storied private equity firms - teamed up with another compony to manage the city’s water system, the Times analysis shows. City officials also promised residents a four-year rate freeze that never materialized.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren: The GOP budget would gut Wall Street regulation 

Senator Elizabeth Warren joined Senators Jeff Merkley and Al Franken to discuss the GOP’s budget resolution, which would weaken the Dodd-Frank financial regulations and gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Basically how it happened
  • Media: What would each of you do as president?
  • Bernie: Revolutionize our energy system, rebuild our infrastructure, make college more accessible, raise the minimum wage, ensure pay equity for women workers, enact stricter gun control policies, increase regulations on wall street, and expand the ACA.
  • Hillary: Uh... yeah, what he said.
Despite The Math, Bernie Sanders Has Already Won
Bernie Sanders won sweeping victories Saturday and more are sure to come over the next couple months. Can he win the nomination? And is that what really even matters?

Bernie Sanders scored huge-margin victories Saturday in the caucuses in Washington State, Hawaii and Alaska.

Sanders won with 82 percent in Alaska, 70 percent in Hawaii and 72 percent in Washington. That Washington margin was even bigger than the Sanders campaign expected — and significant, because there are 101 delegates up for grabs there.

It doesn’t change the math much, but that might not even be the point. Sanders has a narrow path (laid out below in detail), but he is going to win in lots of places over the next two months in similarly sweeping fashion. Regardless of what happens, when people look back on this 2016 Democratic primary, Sanders won’t be dismissed as a gadfly or fringe candidate, as he was treated at the beginning of this campaign. He has already had a major impact on the Democratic Party, on Hillary Clinton and how they talk about the issues he’s cared about most for the last 40 years — income inequality, regulation of Wall Street banks and power and influence in politics.
An interview with Bernie Sanders: Deficit Hawk
Sanders says he has known Elizabeth Warren since before she was Elizabeth Warren.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has become a surprise hit on the campaign trail as he competes to be the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee by running against the establishment and promoting a liberal agenda.

He’s a longshot to unseat front-runner Hillary Clinton for the slot, but Sanders (I-Vt.) is using the race to draw attention to issues he’s been highlighting for years.

Long before Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) came on the scene, Sanders was pushing for stronger regulation of Wall Street, higher taxes on the rich and dramatically lower defense spending.

This year, he climbed the party ranks to become the top Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee, a position that gives Sanders greater voice in the debate over how Washington spends money and taxes citizens.

Sanders recently sat down with The Washington Post to talk about his role on the committee, why he says he’s a real deficit hawk and the economists who would have his ear if he were to win the White House. What follows is a transcript of that interview edited for length.

The most important promises that winning Republicans made were negative in nature. They will repeal health care reform. They will roll back new regulations on banks and Wall Street. They will stop the Obama administration’s plans to curb coal emissions and reform immigration and invest in education.

Why Obama’s Regulators Let Wall Street Bankers Off Easy

If there’s anything more maddening than the sheer scale of the financial fraud that sent America and the rest the planet spiraling into the economic abyss in 2008, it’s the fact that no Wall Street bankers have gone to jail for causing the mess. As in zero, zilch, none at all.

So at his farewell party last month to celebrate a lengthy career at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)—the US regulatory agency that supposedly keeps Wall Street in check—James Kidney, a trial attorney who had been hamstrung for years by indifferent bosses, broke his silence and went off on an awesome rant about how no one in the financial sector fears the body supposedly policing their behavior. The SEC, in essence, is a joke.

Describing it as “an agency that polices the broken windows on the street level and rarely goes to the penthouse floors,” Kidney told an audience of fellow employees that they had dropped the ball because of a revolving door of corruption between the SEC and Wall Street megabanks. “I have had bosses, and bosses of my bosses, whose names we all know, who made little secret that they were here to punch their ticket. They mouthed serious regard for the mission of the Commission, but their actions were tentative and fearful in many instances,” he said.