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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Elizabeth Warren's Warnings About Financial Reform Are Already Coming True

By Danny Vinik

hen Congress passed legislation in December to fund most of the government through the remainder of the fiscal year, Senator Elizabeth Warren and liberal Democrats nearly killed the bill over a policy rider that rolled back a piece of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill. It was a sign, they warned, of what’s to come.

Just a few days into the 114th Congress, those warnings are proving prescient. On Thursday afternoon, the Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation to renew the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which expired at the end of 2014 and allows the federal government to backstop commercial insurance companies up to $200 million in the case of a terrorist attack. But the bill, which the House passed on Wednesday, also eliminates another provision in the financial regulatory bill. Wall Street’s strategy to dismantle Dodd-Frank is only picking up speed.

The regulation that TRIA rolls back is not pivotal to Dodd-Frank. It gives the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC) oversight over collateral and margin requirements for certain financial trades—known as derivatives—with commercial end users. It’s not as important to Dodd-Frank as Section 716, which prevented banks from using taxpayer-backed money to trade in certain high risk financial products and was eliminated in the year-end funding bill known as the CROmnibus. But it still weakens the law. “The oversight of margin and collateral for derivatives transactions is a basic regulatory safeguard,” Americans for Financial Reform wrote in an open letter opposing the provision. “Even though regulators have not proposed to require any margin of commercial end users at this time, it is inappropriate to completely eliminate the ability of central derivatives market regulators to take action in this important area.”

The regulation has nothing to do with terrorism risk insurance; it was slipped into the bill so that it would pass without much fanfare. New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who has been one of the leading advocates for TRIA, called the provision “a pound of flesh in a must-pass piece of legislation.” In other words, it’s not a good change but it’s the price liberals must pay to pass TRIA.



Kicking Dodd-Frank in the Teeth

The 114th Congress has been at work for less than a week, but a goal for many of its members is already evident: a further rollback of regulations put in place to keep markets and Main Street safe from reckless Wall Street practices.

The attack began with a bill that narrowly failed in a fast-track vote on Wednesday in the House of Representatives. It is scheduled to come up again in the House this week.

The bill, introduced by Representative Michael Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican who is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, has three troublesome elements. First, it would let large banks hold on to certain risky securities until 2019, two years longer than currently allowed. It would also prevent the Securities and Exchange Commission from regulating private equity firms that conduct some securities transactions. And, finally, the bill would make derivatives trading less transparent, allowing unseen risks to build up in the system.

Of course, you wouldn’t know any of this from the name of the bill: the Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act. Or from the mild claim that the bill was intended only “to make technical corrections” to the Dodd-Frank legislation of 2010.



Weekend Toon Roundup 2- The rest




Weekend Toon roundup 1- Cartoonists continue to respond

Wealthiest Americans say the poor have it easy

The nation's wealthiest think that the poor have it pretty easy.

A survey by the Pew Research Center found that 54% of those with the greatest financial security believe that "poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return."

Only 36% of the wealthiest say "poor people have hard lives because government benefits don't go far enough to help them live decently."

Those struggling the most financially believe that the poor need more help by more than a two-to-one margin.



Yet they never want to trade places with a poor person to have 'the easy life'…..

Deputies: Man brings shovel to gunfight, and wins

A gun versus shovel fight at a Pasco County nightclub has led to attempted murder charges.
According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, the fight happened just after 2 a.m. Friday outside the Player's Club Bar at 18728 U.S. 19 in Hudson.
Deputies said Jonathan Luis Crespo, 22, is facing charges of attempted murder and armed robbery.

According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, Thomas Allopenna, 26, had left the club and was in his truck when Crespo approached the driver's side and, without warning, fired five shots from a handgun into the window, hitting Allopenna three times.

Allopenna got out of the truck and grabbed Crespo, who yelled, "Give me all your ," deputies said.

A bystander saw what was happening and ran to help. Deputies said the bystander had a shovel, which he used to hit the suspect, and then Allopenna took the shovel and continued to beat Crespo.



180 Marijuana Dispensaries Pop Up In Detroit: ‘This Is The Next Big Thing In The City’

One of the fastest growing businesses in the Motor City has many residents raising concerns: Medical marijuana dispensaries.

“This is the next big thing in the city of Detroit,” said Councilman James Tate. “It’s quiet for folks who are not really paying attention, but everyday it seems like another business is opening up.”

Tate told WWJ’s Charlie Langton the number of medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits is “staggering.”

“The estimate is 180 medical marijuana dispensaries within the city of Detroit,” he said. “I’ve counted 13 in District One myself. We see some locations, certainly along 8 Mile and other border streets, where you have four, five, six kind of clustered together.”



Facebook founder says ‘extremist from Pakistan’ wanted him dead

CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg in a status update said that “an extremist in Pakistan” had fought to have him sentenced to death.

His statement came after the deadly attack on the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo; a French satirical magazine, on blasphemy accusations, which killed 12 people.

“A few years ago, an extremist in Pakistan fought to have me sentenced to death because Facebook refused to ban content about Muhammad that offended him,” Zuckerberg said in a status update on the social-networking website.

Explaining the reason for not removing the blasphemous content from Facebook about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Zuckerberg said, “We stood up for this because different voices — even if they’re sometimes offensive — can make the world a better and more interesting place.”



Democrats Rally to Block Fast Track Trade

President Barack Obama is facing renewed opposition to his effort to implement so-called "fast track" trade promotion authority, a power that would enable him to negotiate trade deals and speed them through Congress.

Democrats are rallying a coalition of labor, environmental, and religious groups, backed by a core group of lawmakers, to fight the implementation of the promotion authority they say would give the president free rein to arrange trade deals without input from Congress and with no regard for job loss, food safety, and financial regulation.

Trade promotion authority would grant Congress an "up or down" vote on any trade deal that reached Capitol Hill.

"This is one of the broadest advocacy coalitions that we’ve had," Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut), who is leading the coalition, said during a press conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday. "There is no reason why we should exacerbate the loss of jobs or lower wages in the United States."



Friday TOON Roundup 3 - The Rest






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