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Gender: Male
Hometown: Northern VA
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 10:34 AM
Number of posts: 32,133

Journal Archives

O'Malley says: "'Real problem' with Republicans goes beyond Donald Trump."

O'Malley, the former governor of Maryland, is making immigration central to his campaign platform for the Democratic nomination. In a speech at the National Council of La Raza conference in Kansas City, Missouri, he ran through a spate of his immigration policy proposals, including creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

He received particularly strong applause for going after Trump, the business mogul turned Republican presidential candidate who said during his campaign launch that Mexico is sending rapists, drug smugglers and other criminals to the U.S. Trump hasn't backed away from those comments, and told a crowd of a few thousand on Saturday that undocumented immigrants "wreak havoc on our population."

"I know that all of us here today share my disgust with the comments Donald Trump recently made," O'Malley said in his speech. "The real problem isn’t that the Republicans have such a hate-spewing character running for president -- the problem is that it’s so hard to tell him apart from many of the other candidates they have in their field."


( elleng)

Thanks Obama. And Biden and Kerry. Nice work on the Iran deal.

Unlike GOP desires, you're kept us out of another unwinnable war, improved international relations, and lowered the cost of crude oil.

Keep up the good work.

Not sure why this isn't a bigger story/issue on DU?

Travel info

Over the weekend, I'll be traveling from Rochester, NY back to Northern VA, mostly along 15S. Any must see places, restaurants, or a good place visit for the afternoon along my path? Thanks

X-posted to NY group too

Travel info

Over the weekend, I'll be traveling from Rochester back to Northern VA, mostly along 15 south. Any must see places, restaurants, or a good place visit for the afternoon along my path? Thanks

X-posted to PA group too

Martin O'Malley: Put More Cops on the Wall Street Beat

Even as the need for oversight has increased, funding for and prioritization of critical
enforcement agencies has lagged.

Today, the CFTC’s staff is virtually unchanged from the 1990’s, despite the fact that their
area of oversight—commodity futures trading—has exploded in size, and that they are
now responsible for regulating over-the-counter derivatives. Given the financial
industry’s focus on weakening derivatives regulation, this lack of funding can be seen as
a backdoor attempt to water down Dodd-Frank.

Similarly, the SEC’s regulatory role has grown dramatically, while the agency has also
been given additional responsibilities under Dodd-Frank. But the agency has been
chronically underfunded by Republicans in Congress – who propose hundreds of millions
of dollars in cuts to the agency every year – and lacks the resources to adequately
enforce laws on behalf of investors.

Immediately Double Funding for CFTC and SEC

The CFTC and SEC have been woefully underfunded in recent years. As a result, both
lack the staff and resources to police bad behavior on Wall Street. Fully funding these
two regulators is an investment that will have a large return over time—preventing the
same dangerous or fraudulent financial practices that led to the collapse of the U.S.
economy, at a of cost anywhere from $14 trillion to $22 trillion.

Governor O’Malley will:

• Double CFTC Funding from $322 million to $644 million.
• Double SEC Funding from $1.7 billion to $3.4 billion.

Elevate Focus on Economic Crimes at the Department of Justice

After the financial meltdown, the DOJ fell down on the job of prosecuting financial
institutions for breaking the law. Rather than focusing on more time-consuming
investigations and criminal prosecutions, they resorted to a fines-only approach of
cracking down on law-breaking.

To date, not one single Wall Street CEO has faced criminal prosecution. Compare this
stat to the aftermath of the 1980’s savings-and-loan scandal when hundreds of individuals
were criminally prosecuted. Changing the culture at the DOJ will start at the top, but it
should also be given the resources to investigate and prosecute financial crimes in-house.

Governor O’Malley will:

Create a Standalone Economic Crimes Division Within DOJ. To increase the
focus on investigating and prosecuting financial crimes, Governor O’Malley will
create a Division of Economic Crimes within DOJ that is separate and co-equal to the
criminal division. The economic crimes unit should have an independent budget and
be staffed with top prosecutors and FBI agents.

Last of the mining from the 10 page Wall Street Reform position paper O'Malley released today. The above is one tiny portion.
*read Martin O'Malley's 10-page plan*: http://martinomalley.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/OMalley-Wall-Street-Reform.pdf

Martin O'Malley: Financial Regulators Must Actually Be Independent

Today, there is a constantly spinning revolving door among both senior and mid-level
regulators and the prosecutors responsible for reining in Wall Street. Senior officials at
the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, Treasury and other
key departments have been deeply entrenched in the industries they are supposed to
regulate, and often return to them after they leave government., This practice undermines
their independence and public trust in the federal government’s role of independent

Governor O’Malley will:

Ensure Key Political Appointees Are Independent of Wall Street

Over the last seven years, both the SEC and DOJ have fallen down on the job of
enforcement—sending a message to Wall Street that they are “too big to jail.” The most
impactful step we can take toward stronger enforcement against Wall Street is appointing
people to key positions who will take financial regulation seriously.

Governor O’Malley will:

Appoint to Key Positions—Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General for the
Criminal Division, SEC Chair—Individuals Committed to Pursuing Criminal
The DOJ and SEC have been over-reliant on financial settlements for
institutions that break the law. Settlements, even those in the billions of dollars, are
not appropriate deterrents for institutions with trillions of dollars of assets. O’Malley
will require that appointees to key positions have strong backgrounds in fighting for
the public interest and a proven ability to prosecute people who break the law.

Require the SEC Director of the Division of Enforcement to be a Presidential
Appointee, Subject to Senate Confirmation.
Currently, the SEC’s Director of
Enforcement is appointed by and entirely at the discretion of the SEC Chair. In
recent years, this has led to the indefensible practice of appointing both Wall Street
in-house lawyers and their outside lawyers to this critical position9. O’Malley will
elevate this position to presidential appointee, forcing this critical appointment to face
greater scrutiny and transparency, along with a public vote from the U.S. Senate.

Close the Regulator/Prosecutor Revolving Door

Institute a Three-Year Revolving Door Ban: O’Malley will bar anyone serving in a
financial policy or regulatory role from working for any person or entity appearing
before their former agency/department—or any agency/department they had contact
with when serving the public—for three years. This triples and aggressively
strengthens the existing bar, which currently applies only to “senior” officials.

Institute an Additional Three-Year Mandatory Disclosure Rule: In addition to the
above ban, O’Malley also will require these individuals to disclose any direct or
indirect contact with agencies/departments they had contact with for an additional
three years.

***Agencies Affected by These Rules: This policy should include people working at the
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Securities Exchange Commission
(SEC), Department of Justice (DOJ) staff that work on economic crimes, Treasury
Department, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Reserve Board, and Office
of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Apply the Same Scrutiny to Key Personnel at the Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve has played a significant role in slowing down the implementation of
important financial regulations, including delaying for two years a core part of the
Volcker Rule. Appointing people to key positions at the Fed who take financial crimes
seriously, and requiring them to play a more active role in regulatory decision-making,
will further strengthen enforcement on Wall Street.

Governor O’Malley will:

Require the General Counsel at the Fed to be a Presidential Appointee. The
General Counsel wields outsized influence on the Board, advising the board on every
major decision. In fact, the current General Counsel is sometimes referred to as the
“eighth Fed governor”. Currently, the Fed’s General Counsel is appointed by the
Board of Governors. By increasing transparency around this appointment, O’Malley
will elevate its importance and ensure that only appointees who can prove
independence and a will to work on behalf of the American people—and not the
megabanks—will be appointed to it.

Require the President of the New York Fed to be a Presidential Appointee. The
President of the New York Fed is the second most powerful member of the Fed. They
serve as a permanent member and vice president of the Federal Open Market
Committee, which establishes the Fed’s monetary policy, and oversee the largest
reserve bank in terms of asset and volume of activity. Currently, the president is
appointed by the regional bank’s board of directors.

Require the Board of Governors to Vote on All Major Decisions, Including
Those Regarding Financial Reform.
The Fed has entered into multi-billion dollar
settlements with financial institutions without its presidentially-appointed and Senate confirmed
Board of Governors voting to accept them. Decisions not to hold
institutions accountable when they break the law should not be left to staff. O’Malley
will support requiring the Board to vote on all major enforcement and supervisory
decisions made by the Fed.

Move mining from the 10 page Wall Street Reform position paper O'Malley released today. The above is one tiny portion.
*read Martin O'Malley's 10-page plan*: http://martinomalley.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/OMalley-Wall-Street-Reform.pdf

For O'Malley, Latest N.H. Campaign Stop All About Boosting Name Recognition

From NH Public Radio

Democrat Martin O’Malley returned to the campaign trail in New Hampshire this week. His main challenge, at this point in the primary race, is introducing himself to as many Granite State voters as he can.

For some, like Mary Rauh of New Castle, meeting O’Malley was enough to earn her support. She hosted a party for O’Malley in June. She said once people get to know him, the polls will turn around. “He looks at people, he listens to people, he engages, he doesn’t just talk at them," Rauh said.

On the trail in New Hampshire, O'Malley seems to be making a concerted effort to connect with young voters, whether snapping selfies, playing his guitar, or drinking a Corona at a bar in Nashua. He’s also reaching out to younger generations on issues like college debt and climate change.

This week at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, O'Malley spoke of his plan to help college students graduate debt-free. It's a subject that resonated with 23-year-old Bianca Acebron Peco of Bow. Acebron Peco currently faces more than $100,000 in student loans. She was one of a dozen current and former students who sat on a panel with O’Malley Wednesday morning.
"He is believable," Acebron Peco said. "I think everyone thinks politicians are kind of sketchy or whatever, but he is the most believable to me."

More at the link.

Martin O'Malley: Enforce Real Penalties for Financial Crimes

Since the financial crash, the federal government’s key enforcement agencies have sent a
message to the largest financial institutions that they are “too big to jail” and somehow
above the laws that apply to every other entity and individual in America.
Rather than enforcing penalties that would have real deterrent effects, enforcement
agencies have relied almost exclusively on settlements as a punitive measure. As a
result, banks like JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Barclays, UBS, and the Royal Bank of
Scotland have continued to break the law, because they know that they will face nothing
more than a slap on the wrist—a fine paid with shareholder money that can often be
deducted from their taxes as a business expense.

Require Law-Breaking Banks and their Executives to Admit Guilt, Face Real

While the DOJ and SEC have touted the large fines they’ve imposed on law-breaking
financial institutions, they have failed to implement any policies that will serve as real
deterrents against continued law-breaking.

Governor O’Malley will:

Implement Points Accrual System to Crack Down on Recidivist Banks. The
largest banks have been able to get away with repeated violations of the law because
the only penalty they have faced has been fines. Governor O’Malley will implement a
DMV-style points-accrual system that will assign points to infractions committed by
financial firms and their affiliates. He will make the points system fully transparent—
so that employees, creditors, and investors all have access to them and can make
decisions based off them—and have the end result be the revocation of an entity’s
right to operate. This approach will send a strong message to institutions that racking
up repeat violations of the law will have real consequences, and it will give them the
opportunity to pursue course-correcting measures if they rack up points. To further
deter wrongdoing, each major fraud or violation could come with its own penalties,
through increased FDIC insurance premiums or increased capital requirements.

End Days of “Neither Admit Nor Deny.” The SEC continues to allow institutions
that break the law to avoid admitting guilt for their actions. If an institution commits a
major crime or violation of a law, they should be required to admit their guilt, so that
they face the full ramifications of parallel civil and criminal proceedings.

Reduce Reliance on and Increase Transparency Around Agreements Made With
Law-Breaking Firms

Rather than pursuing criminal cases or even forcing law-breaking institutions to face the
full force of the law, the DOJ and SEC have adopted policies—often decided behind
closed-doors—that allow law-breakers to skirt accountability.

Governor O’Malley will:

Require Transparency Around Use of Deferred Prosecution Agreements
(DPA’s) and Non Prosecution Agreements (NPA’S).
Currently, the DOJ relies
heavily on deferred prosecution agreements and non-prosecution agreements with
companies who have broken the law. Under these agreements, companies are
permitted to avoid prosecution and real accountability for illegal activity.

Governor O’Malley will incorporate requirements to change senior leadership as part
of DPA agreements, while also requiring the DOJ to submit a report explaining in
detail the rationale for any DPA or NPA involving any significant economic crimes,
including in particular why a DPA or NPA wasn’t used for similar crimes or matters.

Crack Down on SEC’s Use of Waivers By Requiring Public Votes, Statements on
Currently, the SEC has wide berth to grant “waivers” to financial institutions
that break the law. These waivers allow law-breaking banks to avoid penalties that
come with their violations. To crack down on this process, I will require the SEC to
adopt strict procedures by which they can grant waivers. SEC Commissioners should
be required to publicly vote on waivers given to too-big-to-fail banks, and require
them to publicly state the reasons for their votes in detail.

Move mining from the 10 page Wall Street Reform position paper O'Malley released today. The above is one tiny portion.
*read Martin O'Malley's 10-page plan*: http://martinomalley.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/OMalley-Wall-Street-Reform.pdf

Martin O'Malley: Put Consumers' Interests First

Require Loan Brokers to Act in Consumers’ Best Interests
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has made great strides in improving financial
products for consumers, but there is still far to go. A next step should be creating a
fiduciary standard for mortgage brokers and others who hold themselves out as acting in
the best interests of consumers.

Governor O’Malley will:
• Create a Fiduciary Standard for Loan Brokers. O’Malley will adopt new rules to
require mortgage brokers, as well as auto loan and student loan brokers, to put the
best interests of consumers first, while providing full and fair disclosure of all
conflicts of interest. This will build from the successful efforts of states such as
California and Washington

More mining from the 10 page Wall Street Reform position paper O'Malley released today. The above is one tiny portion.
*read Martin O'Malley's 10-page plan*: http://martinomalley.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/OMalley-Wall-Street-Reform.pdf

Martin O'Malley: Limit Risky, Speculative Trading on Wall Street

Implement a Financial Transaction Tax to Limit High-Frequency Trading
High-frequency trading creates volatility and unnecessary risk in financial markets, while
serving no productive purpose in the real economy. A small tax should be applied to
each sale and purchase of a financial instrument to limit this activity—one that would be
nearly imperceptible to longer-term investors, but could dramatically cut down on highrisk,
speculative activity on Wall Street.

Governor O’Malley will:
• Implement a financial transaction tax. The tax will be well-designed not to soak
financial traders, but to fix bad incentives for speculation that comes at the cost of
real job-creating investment.

Move mining from the 10 page Wall Street Reform position paper O'Malley released today. The above is one tiny portion.
*read Martin O'Malley's 10-page plan*: http://martinomalley.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/OMalley-Wall-Street-Reform.pdf

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