American Bankers Association Creates Slush Fund for Secret Campaign Spending

By: Thursday September 6, 2012 2:33 pm

The American Bankers Association, a trade group for thousands of banks headed by former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, voted to start a legal entity for this federal campaign cycle, adding millions of dollars into an already overstuffed election.

The ABA entity would reportedly donate to existing Super PACs, so that the member banks can keep their donations secret.


Cass Sunstein’s Legacy of Distributing Industry Attacks on Regulation Inside the White House

By: Thursday August 9, 2012 5:00 pm

Basically, then-Chief of Staff Bill Daley and Cass Sunstein met with a bunch of oil and chemical lobbyists, Sunstein sent around objections to the rule from the National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable, and even quotes from House Republicans opposed to the standards, and all that was enough to make the case for delay. Lucky for the White House, Cass Sunstein was hyping business community attacks to help them make their decision.

In addition to passing around oil industry talking points inside the White House, Sunstein also forwarded along more obscure industry talking points.

Finance Lobby Goes to Work With Post-Sandy Weill Damage Control

By: Monday July 30, 2012 1:45 pm

Boy, the financial industry is really circling the wagons in the wake of Sandy Weill’s comments endorsing a breakup of big banks and the separation of investment and commercial banking. The finance lobby has revved up their sympathetic sources to ensure the world that change will never come, and anyway that it’s irrelevant.

Are Democrats Too Complacent About the Threat of Red States Refusing the Medicaid Expansion?

By: Tuesday July 3, 2012 8:40 am

Democrats may be too complacent about potential loss of Medicaid expansion. Ten states have already vowed to opt out of the Medicaid expansion, with more potentially on the way. The fact that these states sued to overturn the entire law should have been a tipoff that they wouldn’t exactly jump at the chance to incorporate one important portion of the law if they were given the opportunity to opt out.

“Refreshing Contacts”: The Revolving Door Shuffle in Washington

By: Thursday May 24, 2012 11:50 am

I always find the revolving door to be an intriguing subject of inquiry. The combination of big money in influencing policy, as well as the transient nature of most political jobs, combines to ensure that members of Congress and their staffs put in their time building relationships on Capitol Hill, only to jump over to [...]

Guess Who’s Investigating JP Morgan’s Fail Whale Trades, Now Up to a $7 Billion Loss?

By: Tuesday May 22, 2012 12:10 pm

The London Independent comes out with the largest estimate I’ve seen of losses on JPMorgan’s Fail Whale trades: $7 billion. Another concern is the Senate Banking Committee’s chief investigator for any hearings: a former lobbyist for JP Morgan.

St. Louis Fed President: Break Up the Banks

By: Thursday May 17, 2012 7:20 pm

James Bullard, the President of the St. Louis Federal Reserve, has become the second regional bank President in the last couple months to endorse the concept of breaking up large banks.

CFPB Holds the Keys to Fixing Servicing, Not the States

By: Monday May 7, 2012 8:15 am

I wanted to take note of this one story from last week, about the fact that the foreclosure fraud settlement is only a three-year agreement, meaning that all the vaunted reforms of the servicing market end up expiring at the end of the time period. But the solution lies with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s efforts to adopt permanent standards for servicers.

ALEC Retreats on Non-Economic Legislation

By: Tuesday April 17, 2012 12:50 pm

In what at first glance looks like a major concession, ALEC, the embattled right-wing legislation factory for state and local government, announced they would refocus their efforts solely on economic issues, and eliminate a task force they had devoted to social and cultural issues, like guns and voter ID laws and abortion.

EPA to Release Fracking Rule Today

By: Tuesday April 17, 2012 7:45 am

The EPA will announce the first federal rules against fracking. Curiously, the rules have nothing to do with the Clean Water Act, but seek to reduce the air pollution around fracking sites, also a serious concern, though much of the attention around the corrosive side effects of fracking has revolved around water contamination.

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