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Eurozone Wants Greeks to Work 6 Days a Week

Demand likely to draw yet more resistance to austerity measures

(Newser) - If Greece's eurozone creditors have their way, a lot of people may be coming in to work on Sundays. In a leaked letter sent to Athens last week, the European Commission, European Central Bank, and IMF demanded that Greece "increase flexibility of work schedules" by allowing employers in... More »

GOP Looks to Gut Environment Rules

39 environmental rollbacks added to appropriations bill

(Newser) - Paul Simon knew 50 ways to leave your lover, but House Republicans are apparently working on 39 ways to ditch environmental protection, reports the New York Times . With the nation's energies focused on the looming debt ceiling, the GOP is loading up an appropriations bill with environmental deregulation—such... More »

US Nuclear Regulators Routinely Weaken Rules

Changing standards keep ancient reactors running, despite wear and tear

(Newser) - US regulators are helping the nuclear power industry keep its aging plants in line with safety requirements by repeatedly loosening those requirements, according to a year-long AP investigation . The AP found thousands of problems—from cracking tubes to failed cables to leaking valves—all of which made the plants less... More »

Inquiry Concludes: Financial Crisis Was Avoidable

Report blames mismanagement, poor regulation, excess risk

(Newser) - Corporate mismanagement, excessive risk-taking by Wall Street, and inadequate government regulation caused the 2008 financial crisis, according to a 576-page report by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, due to be released today. The report blames policies by both the Clinton and Bush administrations, Fed chairmen Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke,... More »

Don't Expect Obama to Find 'Dumb' Rules

He's not the first president to look for uncontroversial cuts

(Newser) - Don’t get too excited over Barack Obama’s promise to cut unnecessary, contradictory and “ just plain dumb ” regulations. Lots of presidents have promised the same thing, and they rarely get anywhere, the New York Times observes. Even seemingly silly regulations have their supporters, making repeal a political... More »

Obama Moves to Root Out 'Dumb' Regulations

New executive order will trim, streamline rules

(Newser) - Republicans have said that deregulation will be a major part of their platform, but it looks like President Obama is beating them to the punch. The president will sign an executive order today mandating “a government-wide review of the rules already on the books” that aims to “root... More »

Issa to Big Biz: What Can I Do for You?

Eric Cantor says removing rules a major part of GOP agenda

(Newser) - Darrell Issa saved lobbyists some time last month: he went to them. The incoming chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee sent more than 150 letters to various industry groups and businesses, asking what regulations they think inhibit job growth, Politico reports. Democrats bemoaned the move, but Eric Cantor... More »

Joe Klein: Gulf Spill Is Bush's 2nd Katrina

Deregulation caused disaster, Klein says

(Newser) - The massive oil spill in the Gulf isn't President Obama's Hurricane Katrina, it's George W. Bush's second Katrina, according to Time pundit Joe Klein. Klein, appearing on the Chris Matthews Show, blamed the spill on Bush-era regulations, and Dick Cheney's "deregulation, and lording over the Minerals Management" office, Mediaite... More »

Regulate, Baby, Regulate; Drilling Won't Solve Much

Only energy industry re-regulation can stop zooming gas prices

(Newser) - President Obama's decision to open up new offshore drilling was a brilliant political move that may or may not harm the environment, Thomas Frank writes in the Wall Street Journal. But if Obama wants to avoid a repeat of the oil price crisis of 2008—that which fueled the "... More »

Financial Reform: 'Punks' Take on Plutocrats

GOP argument against reform is upside-down, writes Paul Krugman

(Newser) - With financial reform on deck, Senate Republicans are busily figuring out how many "can get away with claiming that war is peace and regulating big banks is doing those big banks a favor," writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times . Alabama's Richard Shelby is portraying efforts to... More »

Banks' Lobbying Blitz a Betrayal of Public Trust

After toppling economy, Wall St. now opposes consumer protections?

(Newser) - “Banking is based on trust,” Elizabeth Warren argues in the Wall Street Journal , yet lately banks have “thrown away customer trust like so much worthless trash.” After ripping off the public for years with deceptive mortgages and credit card tricks, they’re now lobbying furiously against... More »

McCain, Cantwell Join Forces to Break Up Banks

Unlikely duo sponsor bill to reinstate Glass-Steagall

(Newser) - John McCain, reconnecting with his inner maverick, has teamed up with liberal firebrand Maria Cantwell on a bill to break up Wall Street banks by reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act. The Depression-era law, dumped a decade ago, enforced a split between commercial banking and investment banking. The effort to bring it... More »

Financial Reform: How to Prevent Another Greenspan

Reform plans may hand regulation over to fervent deregulators

(Newser) - There's a lot riding on reform of the financial industry, but the administration's plans to overhaul financial regulation carries the seeds of its own destruction, writes Thomas Frank. Taking oversight away from the present confusing array of agencies and making the Federal Reserve One Big Regulator means that when the... More »

In Hong Kong, Palin Blames Big Gov't for Crisis

Former Alaska governor tries to burnish foreign credentials

(Newser) - The global financial crisis was the fault of governments, not corporations, Sarah Palin told investors today at a closed-door talk in Hong Kong. In her first speaking engagement outside North America, the former Alaska governor said that "we got into this mess because of government interference in the first... More »

Working Class Picks Wrong Villains

(Newser) - When the tea party protesters converged on Washington, one leader, radio demagogue Mark Williams, repeatedly described them as “working stiffs” who felt left out. It’s no wonder they’re angry, writes Timothy Egan for the New York Times, because it’s been a lost decade for “working... More »

Brown's Woes Offers Obama Reality Check

Voters don't reward economic competence after crisis: Krugman

(Newser) - The Bush administration has taken much of the blame for the American recession, but a "huge housing bubble and a financial crisis" were always on the cards, as Paul Krugman writes for the New York Times. Writing from London, where voters gave Gordon Brown a pummeling in Thursday's elections,... More »

How Wall Street Went Hollywood (and Brought Down Our Economy)

(Newser) - During the Great Depression, legend has it a group of Wall Street bankers went to Hollywood to see if it was worth investing in, only to be immediately repulsed by the brazen displays of wealth they saw there. Now that it's the bankers being pilloried for their excesses, writes Neal... More »

Banking Should Go Back to Being Boring

(Newser) - When Paul Krugman was in grad school, nobody wanted to be a banker. Sure, it paid more than being an academic economist, but “everyone knew that banking was, well, boring,” he writes in the New York Times. That was before deregulation came into vogue in the 1980s, turning... More »

DC Still Turns Blind Eye to Banks: Spitzer

Regulators attempt to save face after failing to prevent crisis

(Newser) - There’s a reason the government seems to have no control—darn the luck—over the banks it’s poured billions into: It’s trying to save face, writes Eliot Spitzer for Slate. Washington has struck a tacit bargain with Wall Street, the ex-governor says: Taxpayers bail out the financial... More »

Thatcher's 'Big Bang' Free-for-All Led to Bust

Pioneers of British '80s deregulation dismayed at unforeseen 'side effects'

(Newser) - The British regulatory reforms that changed the face of the financial industry in the '80s allowed banks to become bloated giants, two architects of the so-called "Big Bang" changes tell the Wall Street Journal. The deregulation let London's financial sector flourish, the men say, but also allowed banks to... More »

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