PA-Sen: Joe Sestak Goes for the Jugular Against Pat Toomey

By: Saturday October 9, 2010 6:45 pm

Pennsylvania is one of those states in the industrial Midwest where the public mood is incredibly inhospitable to Democrats. At the same time, the Democratic enclaves around Philadelphia and its suburbs could boost statewide candidates if they manage to hold serve elsewhere. The Senate race is intriguing for how Joe Sestak is running against Pat Toomey – painting him as too extreme for the state and comparing him to the likes of the state’s former conservative Senator, Rick Santorum.


Koch Industries Has Financial Stake in Derivatives and Pharmaceuticals, Not Just Oil

By: Monday August 30, 2010 2:30 pm

Koch Industries and its two leaders, Charles and David, are not only out to destroy progressivism and restore Republican dominance in Washington, though that’s a side benefit. They are out to protect their company’s financial industries, which run the gamut of practically every major policy the Obama Administration has tackled this year.

This Week in FinReg Implementation

By: Monday August 30, 2010 9:00 am

Regulators have competing goals, or at least goals that distract from one another. They want to ensure price transparency for every trade, and exchanges or clearinghouses as the mechanism. But they also should want to increase the swap participants, so that the market doesn’t get concentrated, adding to risk.

This could end well, or with literally no meaningful changes at all. Banks are placing a lot of money to ensure the latter.

Sen. Cantwell Flips, Will Support FinReg

By: Friday July 2, 2010 6:50 am

Last night, Maria Cantwell announced her support of the Dodd Frank financial reform bill, citing a letter from Commodity Futures Trading Commission chief Gary Gensler ensuring her that the derivatives title will be rigorously enforced. Which begs the question: why in the hell did the conference committee give Scott Brown basically everything he wanted? Because Brown’s vote is now irrelevant.

AIG’s Cassano Testifies Before FCIC Today as New Stories of Goldman Fraud Surface

By: Wednesday June 30, 2010 7:30 am

If Joseph Cassano, the head of AIG’s disastrous Financial Products unit, has granted an interview since the insurance giant melted down, I certainly don’t remember it. That’s what makes today’s Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission hearing so interesting. The theme is the derivatives market, and there will be a particular emphasis on AIG and Goldman Sachs, and how their trading played a role in the financial meltdown.

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!

FinReg’s Final Day: Volcker Rule, Derivatives Section Still in Flux

By: Thursday June 24, 2010 6:50 am

An odyssey that started back in December in the House could finally culminate today, with the finishing touches put on the Wall Street reform bill as the conference committee winds up its work. With so many consequential issues still yet to be fully decided, it’s hard to know how to judge that finished product.

DeLauro, Speier, Stupak Assemble Pro-Reform Letter As FinReg Reaches Critical Stage

By: Wednesday June 23, 2010 5:00 pm

I’ve been telling you about the critical concessions in the last days of the FinReg conference committee. Let’s step back a second. This bill won’t end too big to fail. It won’t protect the country to enough of a degree in the event of the next crisis. But it could do some positive things that would head in that direction. It could balance the relationship between the country and the oligopoly of giant, unaccountable banks. It could give consumers a fighting chance to protect themselves from getting screwed repeatedly. And as a financial reform bill, it’s a pretty solid anti-predatory lending bill. Heck, I’d cleave those pieces off, support it as a standalone, and hail a good progressive victory.

Black Tuesday: FinReg Goodies Handed Out to One Industry After Another

By: Wednesday June 23, 2010 7:05 am

Yesterday was a singularly unimpressive day at the Wall Street reform conference committee, with concessions and industry giveaways galore.

Who Are the FinReg Villains?

By: Friday June 18, 2010 5:15 pm

After the first week of the conference committee for Wall Street reform, I would call the verdict middling. Reformers have won some victories – all hedge funds and private equity firms will have to register with the SEC, credit rating agencies will be on the hook for standard liability for negligence, the Fed audit is more robust and ongoing.

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