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alwaysinasnit

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Name: Dolores
Gender: Female
Hometown: California
Home country: USA
Current location: California
Member since: Thu Nov 30, 2017, 01:58 PM
Number of posts: 3,224

Journal Archives

'Big banks couldn't be happier': Stocks surge as Trump regulators gut restrictions on risky Wall St.

‘Big banks couldn’t be happier’: Stocks surge as Trump regulators gut restrictions on risky Wall Street gambling

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/06/big-banks-couldnt-be-happier-stocks-surge-as-trump-regulators-gut-restrictions-on-risky-wall-street-gambling/

Bank stocks jumped and lobbyists rejoiced Thursday after U.S. regulators voted to gut the so-called Volcker Rule, a set of regulations imposed in the wake of the 2008 Wall Street collapse limiting the ability of financial institutions to engage in high-risk behavior that threatens the systemic health of the economy.

“This is no longer the Volcker Rule. In the hands of revolving door regulators, it turns banks into Trump casinos. Will the inevitable Trump casino bankruptcy be far away?”
—Bartlett Naylor, Public Citizen

“Instead of protecting our financial system in the middle of an unprecedented economic crisis, Trump-appointed regulators are plowing ahead with their dangerous deregulatory agenda,” tweeted Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). “The big banks couldn’t be happier about it.”

CNBC reported that the shares of JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley “were all trading more than 2% higher” after the changes to the Volcker Rule were announced by five regulatory agencies, including the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The changes, set to take effect on Oct. 1, will make it easier for big banks to devote more of their resources to investments in venture capital funds and other vehicles—the kind risky of speculation that sent the entire U.S. financial system into a tailspin in 2008.

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Posted by alwaysinasnit | Fri Jun 26, 2020, 02:41 PM (12 replies)

Here's How John Bolton's Lawyer Just Threw Him Under the Bus

https://www.thedailybeast.com/john-boltons-trump-white-house-book-is-due-out-soon-but-his-lawyer-just-threw-him-under-the-bus-2

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Then his lawyer, Chuck Cooper, wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed this week intended to put public pressure on the White House. In it, Cooper volunteered that Bolton had violated both his NDA and perhaps a few criminal laws, including the Espionage Act. Now, even if Bolton’s book is never released, he is facing stiff penalties. As unforced legal errors go, that’s a doozy.

Here are the two sentences that could cost Bolton a big stack of money, or worse: “He instructed me, as his lawyer, to submit the manuscript to Ellen Knight, the NSC’s senior director for prepublication review of materials written by NSC personnel. I sent Ms. Knight the manuscript on Dec. 30, days after the House had impeached the president and amid speculation that the Senate would subpoena Mr. Bolton to testify.”

See, here’s the thing about prepublication review: “Publication” means giving potentially classified information to anyone the government has not approved to receive it. Bolton and his lawyer committed one of the classic blunders that a national-security lawyer would have seen coming a mile away. Simply put, someone who has signed an NDA and received a clearance has to put anything they want to write through prepublication review before they can give it to anyone. Even their lawyer.

Lawyers who represent intelligence personnel drill this into clients at the very beginning. I regularly have my clients—especially the whistleblowers—write everything they want to tell me and send it to the prepublication review office before they tell me a single word of it. It’s a major hassle, and sometimes it alerts the agency that a lawyer is involved, but it keeps them from losing their clearances or their freedom. Some agencies—like the Central Intelligence Agency—will outright refuse to even discuss a prepublication review matter with anyone but the author, let alone allow the lawyer to submit the document.

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Posted by alwaysinasnit | Mon Jun 15, 2020, 04:49 PM (3 replies)

America Convulses in Pain, Fed Bails Out the Wealthy

https://wolfstreet.com/2020/06/11/america-convulses-in-pain-fed-bails-out-the-wealthy/

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So there are some huge multi-faceted problems that need to be grappled with, and that need to be resolved, and people are hurting, and they’re frustrated, and they’re angry, and many are unemployed, and others have jobs that don’t pay enough to meet the rising living expenses, and small businesses are on the ropes, and there’s going to be a lot of pain.

And what does the Federal Reserve do?

It printed $2.9 trillion since early March to bail out investors in highly leveraged hedge funds that were imploding, and to bail out investors in highly leveraged mortgage REITs that were imploding, and to bail out asset holders whose stocks were plunging, and speculators in the riskiest concoctions, and investors of all kinds, and to bail out asset holders of any kind – and the wealthier they were, the more they got – to make sure they don’t feel any of the pain.

That’s what the Fed is doing.

So the Fed printed $2.9 trillion since early March. That’s about $22,000 per household. For the bottom half of households, $22,000 would have helped a lot to get through the crisis.

But this money wasn’t spread to them. It was helicopter money for Wall Street. And it went on to multiply. And most of it ended up with a relatively small number of households. And their wealth increased by the trillions of dollars.

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Posted by alwaysinasnit | Fri Jun 12, 2020, 11:55 PM (5 replies)

The Looming Bank Collapse

The Looming Bank Collapse
The U.S. financial system could be on the cusp of calamity. This time, we might not be able to save it.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/07/coronavirus-banks-collapse/612247/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

After months of living with the coronavirus pandemic, American citizens are well aware of the toll it has taken on the economy: broken supply chains, record unemployment, failing small businesses. All of these factors are serious and could mire the United States in a deep, prolonged recession. But there’s another threat to the economy, too. It lurks on the balance sheets of the big banks, and it could be cataclysmic. Imagine if, in addition to all the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, you woke up one morning to find that the financial sector had collapsed. You may think that such a crisis is unlikely, with memories of the 2008 crash still so fresh. But banks learned few lessons from that calamity, and new laws intended to keep them from taking on too much risk have failed to do so. As a result, we could be on the precipice of another crash, one different from 2008 less in kind than in degree. This one could be worse.

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After the housing crisis, subprime CDOs naturally fell out of favor. Demand shifted to a similar—and similarly risky—instrument, one that even has a similar name: the CLO, or collateralized loan obligation. A CLO walks and talks like a CDO, but in place of loans made to home buyers are loans made to businesses—specifically, troubled businesses. CLOs bundle together so-called leveraged loans, the subprime mortgages of the corporate world. These are loans made to companies that have maxed out their borrowing and can no longer sell bonds directly to investors or qualify for a traditional bank loan. There are more than $1 trillion worth of leveraged loans currently outstanding. The majority are held in CLOs.

I was part of the group that structured and sold CDOs and CLOs at Morgan Stanley in the 1990s. The two securities are remarkably alike. Like a CDO, a CLO has multiple layers, which are sold separately. The bottom layer is the riskiest, the top the safest. If just a few of the loans in a CLO default, the bottom layer will suffer a loss and the other layers will remain safe. If the defaults increase, the bottom layer will lose even more, and the pain will start to work its way up the layers. The top layer, however, remains protected: It loses money only after the lower layers have been wiped out.

Unless you work in finance, you probably haven’t heard of CLOs, but according to many estimates, the CLO market is bigger than the subprime-mortgage CDO market was in its heyday. The Bank for International Settlements, which helps central banks pursue financial stability, has estimated the overall size of the CDO market in 2007 at $640 billion; it estimated the overall size of the CLO market in 2018 at $750 billion. More than $130 billion worth of CLOs have been created since then, some even in recent months. Just as easy mortgages fueled economic growth in the 2000s, cheap corporate debt has done so in the past decade, and many companies have binged on it.

Despite their obvious resemblance to the villain of the last crash, CLOs have been praised by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for moving the risk of leveraged loans outside the banking system. Like former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan, who downplayed the risks posed by subprime mortgages, Powell and Mnuchin have downplayed any trouble CLOs could pose for banks, arguing that the risk is contained within the CLOs themselves.

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Posted by alwaysinasnit | Fri Jun 12, 2020, 11:42 PM (0 replies)

Fears grow of an eviction apocalypse

https://www.axios.com/eviction-crisis-coronavirus-351bb693-a04f-4ea1-a27d-dceb5163af14.html

Most states paused evictions when the coronavirus hit — but those holds are expiring at about the same time that more generous unemployment benefits are set to dry up.

Why it matters: The one-two punch could easily exacerbate the housing crisis for Americans already bearing the worst of COVID-19's effects.

One fifth of adults polled in May said they had slight or no confidence they would be able to pay their rent or mortgage due in June, according to a weekly Census survey measuring COVID-19’s impact on Americans.
An Urban Institute analysis of Census data found nearly 25% of black renters deferred or did not pay their rent last month, compared with 14% of white renters.
In Michigan, courts are bracing for "a coming deluge" of as many as 75,000 landlord/tenant filings. (The state's moratorium expired this week.)

The big picture: The pandemic — which forced an economic collapse — is adding new burdens on top of the country's longstanding housing problems.

"There was a supply and affordability problem before, and the opportunity for it to get a lot worse presents itself, unless there's really good support coming from the federal, state and local level," Paula Cino of the National Multifamily Housing Council, a trade group for the apartment industry, tells Axios.

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Posted by alwaysinasnit | Fri Jun 12, 2020, 08:47 PM (6 replies)

Millions Of Americans Skip Payments As Tidal Wave Of Defaults And Evictions Looms

https://www.npr.org/2020/06/03/867856602/millions-of-americans-skipping-payments-as-tidal-wave-of-defaults-and-evictions-?utm_source=pocket-newtab

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But looking ahead, advocates say people could run into big trouble because the terms of these hardship programs can be all over the map.

"Credit cards, auto loans, installment loans, there are no federal guidelines," says Aracely Panameño, a director at the nonprofit Center for Responsible Lending.

She says when it comes time to make up for all those skipped payments, there are federal rules for repayment plans for home mortgages but not for many other types of loans. So she says lawmakers need to protect people. Otherwise, she says, lenders could make demands beyond what people can afford. "You must have a capacity to catch up with your payments in an affordable way," Panameño says.

Chi Chi Wu with the National Consumer Law Center agrees. Without better protections, when it comes time to make up for the missed payments, "there's going to be a lot of people who could experience massive credit reporting harm," says Wu, an attorney focusing on consumer credit issues.

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Posted by alwaysinasnit | Mon Jun 8, 2020, 06:22 PM (17 replies)

Texas police trap protesters marching across Dallas bridge

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/06/texas-police-trap-protesters-marching-across-dallas-bridge/

On Monday, officers of the Dallas Police Department trapped a crowd of protesters marching across the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, containing them with smoke.

According to witnesses, the police ordered the protesters to lie on the ground, and then began to make arrests.

The protesters marching westbound on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge has been stopped by law enforcement. Officers deployed smoke to deter the marchers from crossing over to the eastbound side of the bridge. @ChiefHallDPD @CityOfDallas

— Dallas Police Dept (@DallasPD) June 2, 2020



Protesters are now lying down on the lanes of the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge in Dallas. Dallas PD is using smoke to prevent marchers from getting to the other side of the bridge.

It's is past curfew in this area. pic.twitter.com/0KRoGMVKJ6

— Ryan Wood (@RyanWoodDFW) June 2, 2020

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Posted by alwaysinasnit | Mon Jun 1, 2020, 09:52 PM (0 replies)
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