Derivatives Dealmaking: A Recipe for Disaster

There is a surprisingly tough provision in the current financial reform bill that would force commercial banks to spin off their derivatives trading desks, but big bank lobbyists are fighting hard to make sure Congress strips the language out of the bill. One rumor floating around Washington is that Democrats will hold off on an …

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The Lobbyists Behind Tom Carper’s Attack on Consumers

Tom Carper has proposed an amendment to the financial reform bill that would severely weaken consumer protections to the point where it is understood to be one of the more destructive changes to the bill. Yesterday, Zach Carter wrote an excellent piece analyzing its potential consequences for financial reform: There are two consumer protection amendments …

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Shining a Light on the Shadow Bank Lobby

In 2008, economist Nouriel Roubini popularized the term “shadow banking system” to describe the non-bank financial institutions that eventually helped spur the collapse of the financial system: highly-leveraged hedge funds, investment banks, and the like. This shadow system fueled Wall Street profits for years before eventually necessitating massive bailouts of the financial sector. These days, …

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Eye on the Big Bank Lobby

Over the course of the financial reform process, the six biggest banks and their trade associations have waged an historic assault on democracy, hiring hundreds of revolving door lobbyists and spending hundreds of millions of dollars to push their legislative agenda, according to a report released today by the Campaign for America’s Future. The report, …

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BP: The Writing on the Wall and the Damage Done

In a 2009 Wall Street Journal interview, the brand new president of BP America, Lamar McKay, answered a question regarding BP’s recent “mishaps and setbacks, ranging from a lethal explosion in a Texas City refinery to a spill in Alaska” by asserting that the company had learned “that consistency, rigor and constancy of operating standards …

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McCaskill’s Donor at the Fed

Claire McCaskill has suggested that she will oppose the Fed audit admendment. This represents a flip-flop, as the Senator from Missouri voted for the Fed audit back in April. One possible explanation for the shift: one of McCaskill’s top donors is Steven H Lipstein, chair of the St Louis Federal Reserve. Lipstein has given McCaskill …

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