Defense-Minded Senators Broach Idea of “Balanced” Solution to Avoid Sequester

By: Tuesday September 25, 2012 6:38 am

A curious coalition has come together to petition the Senate leadership of both parties to work on a bipartisan deal to avoid the sequester, the automatic cuts to defense and discretionary spending. Six senators, three in each party, wrote the letter to Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell. It’s mostly generic, but the identity of those involved does say something about what could come in the lame duck session.

 

Levin Goes After JPMorgan Chase With Subcommittee Investigation

By: Friday September 7, 2012 9:50 am

Carl Levin is at it again. His Senate Subcommittee on Permanent Investigations, perhaps the best investigatory panel in Congress, particularly on financial matters, has honed in on JPMorgan Chase and the Fail Whale trades.

Yesterday Was “Relieve Goldman Sachs of Their Legal Exposure” Day

By: Friday August 10, 2012 6:40 am

Goldman got off for two separate things here, detailed in this contemporaneous report on the SPSCI report: one, the securities fraud elements of lying to their investors and profiting off their lack of disclosure; and two, lying to Congress about it. The Justice Department didn’t see a problem with it. So any upstart investment bank looking to make it in the world, you have your marching orders. You have to lie to your investors, take the other side of the bet on the deals you offer them, and when questioned about it, obfuscate and obstruct the investigatory body. That’s the way to the top.

Romney’s 2010 Tax Return Lacks Disclosure on Swiss Bank Account

By: Wednesday July 18, 2012 12:35 pm

Just to follow up on this tax return issue that is playing havoc with Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaign, it turns out that the returns he claimed to have fully disclosed were not fully disclosed. He left out the part that describes the role of his Swiss bank account.

Snapshots of an Era of Bank Greed and No Accountability

By: Tuesday July 17, 2012 8:30 am

I thought that, given all the pervasive bank crimes over the last several years, we wouldn’t have a time when the roof appeared to cave in on the financial industry. But I’m getting that feeling today. All of the criminality and venality and greed seems to be coming to a head.

In Response to Massive, Multi-Trillion-Dollar Fraud, Geithner Sent a Memo

By: Friday July 13, 2012 6:40 am

The flames of the Libor scandal have been creeping up under the feet of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Evidence showed that the New York Fed found out about the rate-rigging from Barclays and other banks in 2007, when Geithner was still the bank President. This appeared to display regulatory impotence in the face of massive fraud. Geithner had to respond. And he did with a classic version of CYA.

Defense Establishment Starts Bargaining on Trigger Cuts

By: Thursday June 14, 2012 6:46 am

One of the more confusing positions for Democrats in the end-of-the-year “fiscal slope” negotiations concerns where they stand on the defense trigger. Obviously, with Republicans desperate to close these cuts, at least for the first year, Democrats have an opportunity to leverage that into a better deal. However, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has undermined that by asserting that great damage would be done to national security if so much as one dime under the Administration’s budget gets cut.

Now, Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin is working on an alternative solution, where the defense budget gets lowered in this fiscal year, to cushion the blow for the trigger cuts down the road.

Levin: Let’s Not Let the Constitution Get in the Way of Indefinite Detention

By: Thursday May 24, 2012 6:45 am

Not every politician is great on every issue, granted. But with Carl Levin of late, there’s been quite a swing. On the one hand, his Permanent Subcommittee for Investigations delivered Goldman Sachs on a silver platter to the Justice Department (it’s currently sitting in a conference room, untouched). He has jumped on JPMorgan Chase’s massive trading loss to argue for a tightening of the Volcker rule he co-authored. On the other hand, he sees no need to change an indefinite detention law that has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal district court judge.

Levin and Merkley Hope Fail Whale Trade Will Force Loopholes Out of Volcker Rule

By: Friday May 18, 2012 7:30 am

Volcker rule co-authors Jeff Merkley and Carl Levin think that the JPMorgan Chase “Fail Whale” trade offers an opportunity to get the regulatory apparatus back on point with their vision of the rule, one that they say should be stronger in barring the types of risky trading from occurring at commercial banks.

Another Fine Day for “Innovative” Market-based Solutions

By: Tuesday April 24, 2012 3:42 pm

In St Louis, thousands of students and parents are scrambling to find alternatives after a much heralded charter school system produced terrible test scores and ran out of money. It’s a pattern we’re starting to see in many places, with many for-profit charter schools closing for reasons of mismanagement or financial reasons.

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