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Sun May 13, 2012, 11:47 PM

How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform (Matt Taibbi)

Behold, something important that affects every person in the nation has fallen off Corporate McPravda's playlist:



How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform

It's bad enough that the banks strangled the Dodd-Frank law. Even worse is the way they did it - with a big assist from Congress and the White House.


by: Matt Taibbi
Rolling Stone

EXCERPT...

Two years later, Dodd-Frank is groaning on its deathbed. The giant reform bill turned out to be like the fish reeled in by Hemingway's Old Man – no sooner caught than set upon by sharks that strip it to nothing long before it ever reaches the shore. In a furious below-the-radar effort at gutting the law – roundly despised by Washington's Wall Street paymasters – a troop of water-carrying Eric Cantor Republicans are speeding nine separate bills through the House, all designed to roll back the few genuinely toothy portions left in Dodd-Frank. With the Quislingian covert assistance of Democrats, both in Congress and in the White House, those bills could pass through the House and the Senate with little or no debate, with simple floor votes – by a process usually reserved for things like the renaming of post offices or a nonbinding resolution celebrating Amelia Earhart's birthday.

SNIP...

Then, behind the closed doors of Congress, Wall Street lobbyists and their allies got to work. Though many of the new regulatory concepts survived in the final bill, most of them wound up whittled down to such an extreme degree that they were barely recognizable in the end. Over the course of a ferocious year of negotiations in the House and the Senate, the rules on swaps were riddled with loopholes: One initially promising rule preventing federally insured banks from trading in risky derivatives ultimately ended up exempting a huge chunk of the swaps market from the new law. The Volcker Rule banning proprietary gambling survived, but not before getting its brains beaten out in last-minute conference negotiations; Wall Street first won broad exemptions for mutual funds, insurers and trusts, and then, with the aid of both Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, managed to secure a lunatic and arbitrary numerical exemption that allows banks to gamble up to three percent of their "Tier 1" capital, a number that for big banks stretches to the billions.

SNIP...

The nine bills to gut Dodd-Frank could also receive a JOBS Act-style welcome when they reach the Senate. There are only two Senate committees with the jurisdiction to tackle these bills, and neither appears to be planning to take a whack at any of the new measures. The Agriculture Committee, which oversees the CFTC, has been busy dealing with a huge farm bill. The Banking Committee, which oversees the SEC, is dominated by Democrats who wouldn't mind at all if Dodd-Frank had both its legs broken, including Chuck Schumer of New York and Mark Warner of Virginia. What's more, the committee's understated chairman, Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota, seems weirdly willing to let pretty much anything touching the financial world roll straight to a vote without his changing a comma – a sharp contrast to the days when fist-shaking politcal Godhead Chris Dodd ran the committee.

SNIP...

That means all those thousands of hours of debate and fierce negotiation spent hammering out Dodd-Frank two years ago might now go up in smoke in a matter of a few quiet minutes. Of the big-ticket items that were actually passed two years ago, the derivatives reforms have been completely gutted by loopholes, the Volcker Rule has been delayed for two years, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may be thrust under the budgetary control of Congress, which is determined to destroy it. And much of this is taking place with the assent of Democrats, for a very simple reason: because the name of the game isn't cleaning up Wall Street, it's cleaning out Wall Street – throwing a "yes" vote at a bank-approved bill to get them to pony up in an election year. "All this is aimed at the financial services industry," admits one senior Democratic congressional aide. "It's to let them know, 'Hey, you're OK, we're not going to destroy your business – and give us your money, because we're trying to raise it for an election.'"

CONTINUED...

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-wall-street-killed-financial-reform-20120510?print=true



Thank goodness Matt Taibbi is on the job. Brian Williams, Wolf Blitzer and the rest of the nation's press corpse missed this one. So did all the greedhead pukes and a shocking number in my Democratic Party.

23 replies, 2735 views

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform (Matt Taibbi) (Original post)
Octafish May 2012 OP
gateley May 2012 #1
Octafish May 2012 #2
sabrina 1 May 2012 #5
Octafish May 2012 #12
bvar22 May 2012 #19
Lint Head May 2012 #3
Octafish May 2012 #13
sabrina 1 May 2012 #4
Octafish May 2012 #14
sabrina 1 May 2012 #22
caveat_imperator May 2012 #6
Octafish May 2012 #16
JDPriestly May 2012 #7
Ichingcarpenter May 2012 #8
Bohunk68 May 2012 #9
Hell Hath No Fury May 2012 #10
myrna minx May 2012 #11
me b zola May 2012 #15
nashville_brook May 2012 #17
DiverDave May 2012 #18
bvar22 May 2012 #20
steve2470 May 2012 #21
WillyT May 2012 #23

Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun May 13, 2012, 11:55 PM

1. Taibbi has been like a dog with a bone on this banking/Wall Street stuff. I learn a lot from him!

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Response to gateley (Reply #1)

Mon May 14, 2012, 12:12 AM

2. Agree 100-percent. Remember how few people wanted to bail out Wall Street and the banks in '08?

It was running 9-to-1 in favor of letting them fail.

Yet, Uncle Sam was there to provide whatever Wall Street and the banks (same thing, since the repeal of Glass-Steagal, FWIU) needed.

A 7-figure salary must be mighty attractive to the underpaid civil servant leaving governmnet for the private sector, although it won't buy what they need most -- integrity.



Revolving Door: From Top Futures Regulator to Top Futures Lobbyist

Rolling Stone
Taibblog

While America focused on New Hampshire, a classic example of revolving-door politics took place in Washington, going almost completely unnoticed. It’s a move that ranks up there with the hire of Louisiana congressman Billy Tauzin to head the pharmaceutical lobbying conglomerate PhRMA -- at a salary of over $2 million a year -- immediately after Tauzin helped ram through the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill, a huge handout to the pharmaceutical industry.

In this case, the hire involves Walter Lukken, who toward the end of the Bush years was the acting head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. As the chief regulator of the commodities markets, it was Lukken’s job to spot and combat speculative abuses and manipulations that might have led to artificial price hikes and other disruptions.

CONTINUED...



As you know, gateley: Readers are Leaders.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #2)

Mon May 14, 2012, 12:45 AM

5. The people were right! But Henry Paulson threatened members of Congress with marital law

if they did not give him what he wanted.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #5)

Mon May 14, 2012, 12:39 PM

12. That shoulda been a WTF Moment.

But, Corporate McPravda let it slide.

Rep Brad Sherman (D-CA) Says Congress Threatened with Martial Law If Bailout Bill Is Not Passed

Hrnnnh. Now that I think of it, without knowing about it, We teh People let it slide too.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #2)

Mon May 14, 2012, 07:40 PM

19. The Heist was perfectly timed to occur during the change-over of administrations,

...lending Plausible Deniability to BOTH Political Parties:


Now THIS is "Bi-Partisanship!
Get used to it!
Hahahahahahahahahaha!


For those under the impression that Congress takes FOREVER to get something done,
Our "Representatives" delivered 3/4 TRILLION Dollars to Paulson
in Less than a Week!
Congress & the Senate can strike faster than a RattleSnake when THEIR portfolios are threatened.



You will know them by their WORKS,
not by their excuses.
Solidarity99!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2012, 12:16 AM

3. I so badly want to see Matt Taibbi debate Grover Norquist.

Maybe on Bill Mahr. Norquist would be squashed like the roach he is.

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Response to Lint Head (Reply #3)

Mon May 14, 2012, 12:49 PM

13. It wouldn't be fair.

Imagine Grover's shock when reminded of his ties to Jack Abramoff and other traitors n crooks.

His jaw will fall off and his brains fall to the ground when reminded of his ties to terror and Big Money on national tee vee.

Then, Taibbi would bring up his present sordid plans.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2012, 12:16 AM

4. Shhhh, it's election season. We are not supposed to worry our pretty little heads about

stuff like this!

Matt Taibbi, under the bus, AGAIN!

Thanks Octafish, now is the time to demand that our future elected officials deal with these issues, because now is when they need something from us. But we are constantly told to be quiet during election season and to wait until AFTER the election.

If this makes sense to anyone else, I'd like to hear the rationale for it.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #4)

Mon May 14, 2012, 12:57 PM

14. The largest financial crime in human history and NO ONE'S BEEN PUNISHED!

Trillions disappeared and not a single person in jail? People and institutions caught with their hands grabbing billions at a time and none are even investigated? Who's in charge, Wall Street?

We've got people going to jail for driving off without paying for a gallon of gas.

Regarding the good people under the bus:

William Black on Bill Moyers Journal drops bailout bomb on Obama

Glad to see more than a few people care, even if Corporate McPravda has it on broadcast silence.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #14)

Tue May 15, 2012, 12:14 AM

22. People do care, a majority of the people all over the Globe, care. A Global Movement has

been born because the people care. And each day more people learn more about the system they thought was supposed to work for them. But so far, the people are ignored by their governments. So far!

Roubini, (the economist) said this week that there are three stages we will go through before this all ends. The first was 'denial'. He says we are now in the second stage 'protests' everywhere. And only after the people rise up, will we reach the third stage, which should involve accountability. Iceland demonstrated all three stages. Bankers there were NOT bailed out, the people did not pay their gambling bills. After the protests, a government was toppled and arrests were made. Banks were nationalized and crooked bankers arrested.

But it was the protests that led to the accountability stage. If Roubini is correct, and he has been pretty much correct about all of this so far, then we can look forward to some accountability in the not too distant future. Starting in Europe.

Thank you for all you do Octafish.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2012, 01:46 AM

6. Lack of financial reform is going to kill wall street sooner rather than later.

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Response to caveat_imperator (Reply #6)

Mon May 14, 2012, 01:11 PM

16. We need a PECORA COMMISSION to investigate, prosecute and fix Wall Street and Big Banks.

Statute of Limitations is running out. Still, we may see some of the banksters behind bars if Schneiderman is given the power and holds on to integrity.



A modern Pecora Commission could right Wall Street wrongs

Barry Ritholtz
Washington Post Columnist

What shall we make of this surprise pronouncement in President Obama’s State of the Union address? A belated investigation has been launched into the role of fraud in the financial crisis.

This much is clear: Despite rampant illegalities, bank fraud and countless cases of perjury, the response to date — at the federal level and from most, but not all, states — has been underwhelming, cowardly even. A few principled holdouts — the attorneys general of Delaware, New York, Nevada and California — refuse to rubber-stamp a pre-investigation settlement with banks, but that’s all. Despite chances to bring crooks to justice, there has been little action.

So, here we are, four years after the great financial collapse, three years after the recovery began and in the last year of Obama’s term — and the president has finally decided to investigate the role of fraud in the great global financial crisis. Hence, this new task force — the unit of Mortgage Origination and Securitization Abuses — begins behind the curve. The statute of limitations is, in many cases, close to elapsing.

Even so, do not dismiss the investigation out of hand because of the timing: History informs us that a serious investigation can begin four years after the fact. Recall that Ferdinand Pecora was the fourth chief counsel for the Senate committee that investigated the Wall Street crash of 1929 and subsequent Depression. He was appointed in 1932 and received broad investigatory powers in 1933. His report ran thousands of pages. Thanks in large part to Pecora’s findings, Congress passed the Glass-Steagall Banking Act, which separated commercial and investment banking; the Securities Act of 1933, which established penalties for filing false information about stock offerings; and the Securities Exchange Act, which created the Securities and Exchange Commission to regulate the stock exchanges. Nearly 50 years of financial stability followed.

The personality in charge can make all the difference. In an encouraging sign, Obama appointed to the task force New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, one of the few attorneys general not railroaded into a premature settlement with banks of the robo-signing-foreclosure scandal.

CONTINUED...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/a-modern-pecora-commission-to-right-wall-streets-wrongs/2012/01/22/gIQAJ3uoYQ_story.html



Personally, I suggest nationalizing the whole thing and sharing the profits with all the citizens (not like China but with Freedom Fries and Democracy, but more like Norway and Iceland).

Otherwise, fully regulate with complete transparency the sector from top-to-bottom and tax the living bemoonies out of it.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2012, 03:47 AM

7. Taibbi -- what would we do without him?

Another brilliant article that makes what, without Taibbi, would be so boring it would go unnoticed.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2012, 07:05 AM

8. kick nominate plus watch a 12 year old

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2012, 08:13 AM

9. Omigosh!

8 posts and not one of them from the Matt haters! I am shocked, I tell you, absolutely shocked! There's this one poster who's name shall be withheld who regularly trashes anything that Matt writes. Like the homophobes who trash gays while secretly wanting to do the same, so I think that poster really has a terrific crush on Matt. How quick do you think that poster will post? 3....2....1..

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2012, 12:31 PM

10. Love Taibbi -

Love Octafish! Thanks for keeping DU honest.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2012, 12:36 PM

11. K&R n/t

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2012, 01:02 PM

15. K&R

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2012, 03:07 PM

17. k and r

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2012, 04:45 PM

18. Wait! the Pres was patted on the back for signing in

the most SWEEPING regulation since FDR!!!
Response from
SunsetDreams


Last edited Tue May 8, 2012, 08:13 AM USA/ET - Edit history (1)
to find supporters of the President on Democratic Underground. Your call for "Dude give IT up!" is likely to not get any takers here. What we really need is less hyperbole such as "cheerleading for a guy that is in bed with the god damned enemy" for example. Obama has not given away the store to wall street. One doesn't need to look very far really to find that is untrue, and at best hyperbole.

President Obama signs most sweeping Wall Street reform bill since Great Depression

Obama Outlines Credit Card Reforms I probably don't need to tell you that not only did he call for Credit Card Reforms, but he signed it into law.

The President has made mistakes to be sure, and he hasn't given us everything that we want. I would hardly classify him as sleeping with the enemy. Not even close.

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Response to DiverDave (Reply #18)

Mon May 14, 2012, 07:49 PM

20. Reform in name only, mostly written by Wall Street Lobbyists.

Easily avoided minor adjustments around the fringes that did NOTHING to prevent another meltdown, limit the size of these monsters, or hold Billionaire criminals accountable.
Everybody knows that an updated version of Glass-Steagall and some Teddy Roosevelt Style Trust Busting was the cure for this Wall Street disease. Our "Representatives" had popular support for this type of REAL "reform",
but lacked the will to Fix Things.

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler for the 1% and their employees in Washington!



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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2012, 08:06 PM

21. k&r nt

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 07:03 PM

23. HUGE K & R !!!


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