Mortgage Refinance Plan More About Stimulus than Housing

By: Wednesday February 1, 2012 10:45 am

The Administration will release details on its mass refi proposal today, which is a bid to increase funds in the hands of homeowners at a low cost to the government. This is a stimulus policy, which could be effective depending on the scale. But refis aren’t enough to save people’s homes, and certainly not underwater homes.


Movement to Tax Banks Regains Momentum

By: Thursday July 8, 2010 8:21 am

Much like how the health care debate coincided with a last-minute failure on Medicare buy-in, the financial reform debate coincided with a last-minute failure on taxing the banks. In both cases, reformers and advocates haven’t given up on the idea. In the case of the bank tax, those reformers picked up a powerful champion.

Feingold’s Explanation for Opposing FinReg

By: Wednesday June 30, 2010 5:45 pm

Feingold doesn’t mention this directly, but his reputation four months from his re-election matters here. He voted against Riegle-Neal, which consolidated the banking sector. He voted against repealing Glass-Steagall. He voted against TARP repeatedly. He has been a lonely voice for sanity in the financial markets, and he obviously feels that going against that to support a half-measure doesn’t make sense for him, especially not with an election coming in November.

Feingold also charges that Senate Democrats and the White House have “bargained” with him by telling him to accept the bill as it is, not by moving it in his preferred direction. That’s not a bargain at all, that’s an ultimatum.

Scott Brown Withdraws Support for FinReg

By: Tuesday June 29, 2010 10:07 am

If Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe were to stay on board, their move should be to flat-out take out everything Scott Brown achieved with his hedge fund loophole in the Volcker rule, welcome Maria Cantwell back to the fold, and screw Brown for his bad faith. Or they could dare Republicans to filibuster a Wall Street reform bill over and over, putting them squarely in opposition to public opinion. The more likely outcome is that they drop the bank tax and just add the implementation costs to the deficit. Path of least resistance, don’t-cha-know.

FinReg out of Conference; Volcker Rule, Section 716 “Washington Compromised” in All-Night Session

By: Friday June 25, 2010 7:00 am

Lawmakers worked into the night and came up with an oddly unsatisfying compromise on the two most contentious issues left in financial reform, with the final package voted upon at 5:30 this morning (ET). But hey, that was on C-SPAN, so eight people did probably get to see it. Transparency!

NYT’s Nocera: FinReg Won’t Touch Wall Street

By: Sunday June 6, 2010 7:15 am

Though the New York Times’ Joe Nocera may be off on point on changes to credit rating agencies, the overall thrust of his article is quite correct. Nocera, like many reformers, is a structuralist, believing that the very structure of Wall Street is at issue, not the way it gets regulated. And therefore, he would naturally look at what passed the Senate and say that it comes up far short.

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