Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) said on Wednesday that one of the goals of tax cuts is to provide extra money for the “forgotten man from Bernie [Sanders] to [Donald] Trump.” While appearing on MSNBC with host Hallie Jackson, Brat noted that a 15 percent tax rate for corporations his preference, but he said that ultra-conservative Republicans… Continue Reading →
Charles and David Koch are at it again. This time they intend to release their Kochtopus on the political system and American voters for “tax reform.1” Of course it’s not tax reform for you or me. It’s tax reform for billionaires, but they intend to tell us it’s in our best interest. There’s really no reason… Continue Reading →
Tens of thousands of people who took out private loans to pay for college but have not been able to keep up payments may get their debts wiped away because critical paperwork is missing.
The troubled loans, which total at least $5 billion, are at the center of a protracted legal dispute between the student borrowers and a group of creditors who have aggressively pursued them in court after they fell behind on payments.
Judges have already dismissed dozens of lawsuits against former students, essentially wiping out their debt, because documents proving who owns the loans are missing. A review of court records by The New York Times shows that many other collection cases are deeply flawed, with incomplete ownership records and mass-produced documentation.
Some of the problems playing out now in the $108 billion private student loan market are reminiscent of those that arose from the subprime mortgage crisis a decade ago, when billions of dollars in subprime mortgage loans were ruled uncollectible by courts because of missing or fake documentation. And like those troubled mortgages, private student loans — which come with higher interest rates and fewer consumer protections than federal loans — are often targeted at the most vulnerable borrowers, like those attending for-profit schools.
At the center of the storm is one of the nation’s largest owners of private student loans, the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts. It is struggling to prove in court that it has the legal paperwork showing ownership of its loans, which were originally made by banks and then sold to investors. National Collegiate’s lawyers warned in a recent legal filing, “As news of the servicing issues and the trusts’ inability to produce the documents needed to foreclose on loans spreads, the likelihood of more defaults rises.”
Note: The Senate is also planning a maneuver to jam Trumpcare through today. It’s important that you call your senators NOW!
While much of the nation’s attention was focused on James Comey’s account of his interactions with President Donald Trump on Thursday, a key part of the president’s anti-regulatory agenda moved forward in Congress with far less fanfare: The House passed a bill that would dismantle the Dodd-Frank financial regulations put in place in 2010. The vote… Continue Reading →
They really don’t care who or what they hurt:
Spearheaded by House Finance Chair Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), the Choice Act begins by throwing out much of the banking oversight passed under President Obama’s administration, mostly through the Dodd-Frank act signed in 2010. But it goes further than that, rolling back oversight in a way that could dramatically exacerbate the likelihood of another financial crisis, according to experts in financial regulation.
“It’s a little hard to get your mind around everything this bill does, because there’s almost no area of financial regulation it doesn’t touch,” says Marcus Stanley, policy director for Americans for Financial Reform. “There’s a bunch of very radical stuff in this bill, and it goes way beyond repealing Dodd-Frank.”
It could also expose the hollowness of Trump’s campaign promises. Trump ran on slamming Wall Street for “getting away with murder” and arguing that Goldman Sachs had “bled our country dry.”
But the bill looks to some like a wish list of what advocates and lobbyists for the banking industry have demanded. Among the provisions that have most alarmed progressives on the Hill is its proposed elimination of the “Volcker Rule,” which prevents commercial banks from making certain kinds of speculative and risky trades.
The Choice Act would also gut the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). As Mike Konczal wrote for Vox, the CFPB has won millions from big corporations by suing those who use “deceptive practices” for their customers. Hensarling’s bill wouldn’t get rid of CFPB entirely, but advocates say it would effectively render the agency powerless by letting Congress control its funding, allowing the White House to fire the agency’s director at will, and, perhaps most importantly, stripping it of a broad range of rulemaking authority.
And by that, I mean breathtakingly horrendous:
In early 2007, a group of Morgan Stanley bankers bundled a group of subprime mortgage instruments into a package they hoped to sell to investors. The only problem was, they couldn’t come up with a name for the package of mortgage-backed derivatives, which they all knew were doomed.
The bankers decided to play around with potential names. In a series of emails back and forth, they suggested possibilities. “Jon is voting for ‘Hitman,'” wrote one. “How about ‘Nuclear Holocaust 2007-1?'” wrote another, adding a few more possible names: Shitbag, Mike Tyson’s Punchout and Fludderfish.
Eventually they stopped with the comedy jokes, gave the pile of “nuclear” assets a more respectable name – “Stack” – and sold the $500 million Collateralized Debt Obligation with a straight face to the China Development Industrial Bank. Within three years, the bank was suing a series of parties, including Morgan Stanley, to recover losses from the toxic fund.
The name on the original registration document for Stack? Craig S. Phillips, then president of Morgan Stanley’s ABS (Asset-Backed Securities) division. Phillips may not have written the emails in question, but he was the boss of this sordid episode, and it was his name on the comedy-free document that was presented to Chinese investors.
This is just another detail in the emerging absurd narrative that is Donald Trump naming Phillips, of all people, to head up the effort to reform the Government-Sponsored Entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
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During today’s rollout of the Trump “tax reform” proposals, Gary Cohn and Steven Mnuchin explained with broad strokes how the middle class and poor would be screwed so billionaires and corporations can pay less in federal taxes. Cohn, in a rare moment of honesty, admitted that the proposal will be universally hated by the right and… Continue Reading →
Jon Ossoff, the Georgia Dem who came in first in Tuesday night’s runoff, is a pro-LGBTQ, pro-choice liberal who pulling a near majority in a solid GOP district. Here’s what Bernie said about him
Asked if Mr. Ossoff is a progressive, Mr. Sanders, an independent who challenged Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primary, demurred. “I don’t know,” he said.
Instead, here’s the guy he’s backing:
He plans to campaign Thursday in Nebraska with Heath Mello, a former Nebraska state senator who in 2009 sponsored legislation requiring women to look at ultrasound image of their fetus before receiving an abortion.
At the time Mr. Mello called the proposal a “positive first step” toward reducing the number of abortions in Nebraska. It became law months later.
Mello is still opposed to abortion. But women’s rights are optional! All Bernie cares about is Wall Street, which strikes me as a tad tone deaf, considering that women are leading the Trump resistance.
House Republicans are now busily working to repeal the Affordable Care Act in secret. Even when the GOP plan is done and made public, the secrecy will continue. The potential impact will still be hidden from the public, as it’s likely to not have any score from the Congressional Budget Office before the House votes on… Continue Reading →
Because it’s really up to us:
— SuburbanGuerrilla (@SusieMadrak) February 3, 2017