Obama bank regulation

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Volcker Rule Too 'Complicated,' Says ... Volcker

Financial lobbyists added too much, claims former Fed chair

(Newser) - How’s this for irony: The Volcker rule is too complex and long … according to the guy whose name is on the rule. "It's much more complicated than I would like to see," said Paul Volcker during a talk in Singapore today. Who’s to blame... More »

Whistleblowers Hit Jackpot Thanks to New Finance Law

Get ready for a nation of SEC-loving paid informants

(Newser) - The new financial reform law contains a little-noticed provision that could do a lot to clean up Wall Street—a whistleblower incentive. Under the new law, anyone who provides “original information” that leads to a successful SEC fraud case will be entitled to 10% to 30% of whatever fines... More »

Obama Sticks to Agenda, Polls Be Damned

He's 3 for 3 on stimulus, health care, financial reform

(Newser) - President Obama completed a legislative hat trick yesterday, as he passed a landmark financial reform bill, to go alongside his landmark health care bill, and his mammoth stimulus bill. These victories essentially line up with his campaign promises, but they’ve come at a political cost, giving plenty of ammunition... More »

Democrats Break Financial Reform Filibuster

Scott Brown, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins cross party line

(Newser) - Congress is all but guaranteed to pass the most sweeping financial regulatory reform since the Great Depression this afternoon. In the early session this morning, the Senate voted 60-38 to end debate on the Dodd-Frank bill, setting up a final vote that is scheduled for 2pm this afternoon. Republicans could... More »

Banks Secretly Pleased With Wall Street Reform Bill

It'll curb profits, but won't reduce their power

(Newser) - Despite their public protestations, behind closed doors, Wall Street executives are pretty pleased with how financial reform legislation is shaping up, sources tell the New York Times . “If you talk to anyone privately, there's a sigh of relief,” says one investment banker. “It'll crimp the profit pool... More »

Congress Must Grill Bankers, Depression Style

US needs something like the combative Pecora Commission

(Newser) - In the wake of the 1929 stock market crash, bankers weren't just held accountable, they were humiliated. Writing for Vanity Fair , historian Alan Brinkley looks at the agent of that humiliation: the Pecora Commission, a nasty, combative affair. The brilliant cross-examiner Ferdinand Pecora grilled the likes of JP Morgan Jr.... More »

GOP Focuses on Single Word in Financial Reform Fight

And the bill's offending word is: 'significantly'

(Newser) - Republicans have found another reason to oppose financial reform: They claim it will impose regulations on dentists, florists, and plenty of other small businesses, all because of a single word: “significantly.” The Senate bill states that the Consumer Protection Agency will only regulate those who provide significant consumer... More »

Hedge Funds Get 'Sweet Deal' in Finance Bill

Thanks to an army of lobbyists, they've dodged reforms

(Newser) - While Wall Street banks are being hauled before Congress for public reprimand, hedge funds and private equity firms have floated blissfully above the fray, thanks to an army of well-connected lobbyists. More than half of the 83 new lobbyists who signed up with the industry's two main trade groups last... More »

Liberals Push to Toughen Bank Bill

See Goldman troubles as opening to break up banks, restore firewall

(Newser) - The Left is suddenly playing offense in the push for financial reform legislation, with liberal senators preparing a barrage of amendments to beef up the bill. One would break up the nation's six largest banks—Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley—whose combined assets... More »

Voinovich to Break GOP's Finance Filibuster

And he expects 'a whole bunch' of Republicans to join him

(Newser) - If Senate Republicans don't strike a deal with Democrats on financial reform soon, George Voinovich is going to cross party lines to insist on a floor debate—and he expects “a whole bunch” of other Republicans to make the same decision, he said yesterday. The American people “want... More »

Dems Tell Buffett to Stuff It

Berkshire provision killed in financial reform legislation

(Newser) - Democrats today agreed to torpedo the sweetheart derivatives provision Warren Buffett was lobbying to insert into their financial reform legislation, the Wall Street Journal reports. The decision comes scant hours after the Journal 's original front-page report that Ben Nelson had managed to jam the provision into the Agriculture Committee's... More »

Buffett Lobbies Dems to Soften Derivatives Rule

And he may succeed in getting current contracts exempted

(Newser) - Warren Buffett, the guy who once called derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction,” is now lobbying Democrats to soften their restrictions on derivatives in the upcoming financial reform bill. It seems they would, as presently written, hurt his bottom line. Berkshire Hathaway has $63 billion in derivatives, the... More »

Obama, Please Screw the Banks

President doesn't have to play nice with these guys

(Newser) - Barack Obama went to New York yesterday to beg Wall Street to play nice on financial reform, and Paul Krugman really wishes he hadn't. Obama said reform would ultimately help the financial industry, but Krugman doesn't see the need to play nice with the big banks. “Reform actually should... More »

Democrats Shackled By Wall Street Ties

Buddying up to financial firms makes it harder to vilify them

(Newser) - Democrats are enjoying having Wall Street as a villain as they push for financial reform, but there's one nagging problem: they've gotten pretty close to Wall Street in recent years. Thanks to some maneuvering from Chuck Schumer and Rahm Emanuel, many Democrats raised a lot of money from Wall Street... More »

It's Time to Stop the Looters on Wall Street

And financial reform is the only way to do that

(Newser) - The SEC's charges against Goldman Sachs reveal a whole new kind of fraud at work in the financial crisis, writes Paul Krugman of the New York Times . If Goldman had simply sold securities while betting they would fail, it would be “reprehensible” but not illegal. But selling securities deliberately... More »

Republicans Want to Abolish Financial Firemen

McConnell is doing Wall Street's bidding

(Newser) - Mitch McConnell wants to abolish fire departments—they just bail out burning buildings. We won’t get out of this mess until the biggest buildings are allowed to burn! That’s essentially what McConnell’s latest assault on financial reform amounts to, writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times ... More »

Obama to GOP: Go Ahead, Make My Day

He won't compromise on financial reform; dares them to vote nay

(Newser) - After a tense meeting on financial reform with GOP leaders yesterday, Barack Obama put on his Michael Corleone face and told them his final offer was this: nothing. The president made it clear that he wouldn’t accept any compromise that would weaken the legislation, and essentially dared Republicans to... More »

Democrats Defy Wall Street, GOP on Bank Reform

Banks trying mightily to kill restrictions on derivatives

(Newser) - Democrats defied Wall Street lobbyists’ push to kill new reforms on derivative trading yesterday, and got an earful from Republicans for their troubles. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley have been leaning heavily on Blanche Lincoln’s Agriculture Committee to scrap a plan to force derivatives—which, incidentally, played a... More »

Banks Will Say 'Up Is Down' to Make a Buck

In fighting consumer agency, they prove they're hypocrites

(Newser) - The American Bankers Association is lobbying hard to kill the consumer protection agency, arguing that separating consumer protection from "safety and soundness" regulations would destabilize banks. Which might be a more credible argument, had they not made the opposite one in a 2006 memo, notes TARP oversight chair Elizabeth... More »

Krugman on Finance Reform: Go Big, or Go Home

No reform better than current Senate bill

(Newser) - Paul Krugman comes out against passing a watered down financial regulatory reform bill today, saying the current Senate bill would provide only a “false sense of security and a fig leaf for politicians opposed to any serious action.” Republicans, driven by bank lobbyists and their strategy of opposing... More »

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