Wheee! Deregulating Wall Street again

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.

Obama tax Wall St.? Fahgetaboutit!

Can you imagine Barack Obama cracking down on financial speculators rather than giving them White House jobs? Jeff Cohen can’t:

With U.S. media obsessing on the fight here at home among conservatives vying to become president, most of them missed some big news about France, which already has a conservative president. This week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that he would take the lead — even go it alone within Europe, if need be — in introducing and pushing a Financial Transaction Tax in his country.

That’s right — the conservative president of France wants to tax the financial traders and speculators.

Referring to the tax as a “moral issue” and blaming deregulation and speculation for the global economic meltdown, Sarkozy has said that traders must “repay for the damage they have caused.”

What does it tell us about U.S. politics that the conservative president of France – on this issue and others — is way to the left of President Obama? The U.S. president has not publicly promoted a Wall Street transaction tax (even though U.S. financial institutions, not the French, were largely responsible for the global crisis).

To feds, food stamps bigger than Wall St. fraud

From Salon:

When it comes to our government’s collective refusal to aggressively investigate — much less prosecute — Wall Street crime, one prevailing line of apologism implies that it’s all about resources. As the general fable goes, Wall Street is so sprawling and so lawyered up that public law enforcement agencies simply don’t have the resources to make sure justice is served, especially at a time of budget deficits. In this story, Wall Street is not simply too big to fail; it’s too big to even police.

The motivation for such myth-making is obvious: It wholly absolves elected officials for their decisions to let their financial-industry campaign contributors off the hook. Yet thanks to recent events, the whole “Too Big to Police” rationale is being exposed for the farce that it is.

At the local level, the same governments that plead poverty when they’re asked to enforce their laws on financial fraud have somehow found plenty of resources to deploy their militarized police forces against Occupy protesters. At the federal level, it’s even more blatant. As we learned in a little-noticed Washington Post piece on Tuesday, the same Obama administration that has refused to spend political capital and federal monies to go after Wall Street is expending new resources to crack down on the supposedly rampant problem of food stamp “fraud.”

Bloomberg’s doubletalk on park evictions

Here’s all you have to know about the integrity of the billionaire mayor from Wall Street:

After ordering the eviction of protesters from Zuccotti Park, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday explained that the park would temporarily remain closed due to a court order that restrained the city from closing the park.

A ruling issued by [Manhattan Supreme Court Justice] Lucy Billings… said that the city is “prohibited from: “(a) Evicting protesters from Zuccotti Park and/or (b) Enforcing the “rules” published after the occupation began or otherwise preventing protesters from re-entering the park with tents and other property previously utilized,” the ruling said.

At a press conference Tuesday morning, Bloomberg said that protesters had only been “temporarily” asked to leave the park “to reduce the risk of confrontation and to minimize destruction in the surrounding neighborhood.”

More here.