Low Regulator Assertiveness Part of Problem With Mitigating Financial Risks

By: Tuesday June 12, 2012 11:00 am

Jamie Dimon testifies before the Senate Banking Committee tomorrow, and this Bloomberg report alleges that he was personally responsible for keeping regulators at bay from the chief investment office, the one responsible for all the Fail Whale losses, which could reach past $5 billion at this point.

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Sherrod Brown Urges Transparency for “NAFTA for Asia”

By: Monday June 11, 2012 2:40 pm

Some Senate Democrats and even some Republicans are concerned about a controversial trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which critics have denounced as “NAFTA for Asia.” And they are making their opinions known to the Obama Administration about the relative secrecy under which the deal is being negotiated.

Senate Democrats Wrestle with Lame Duck Session Options

By: Monday June 11, 2012 8:45 am

Do Democrats have a plan for dealing with the fiscal “cliff”? Based on interviews I conducted at Netroots Nation with four members of the Senate Democratic caucus — Senators Sheldon Whitehouse, Ben Cardin, Jeff Merkley and Sherrod Brown — it seems they have far more than one.

Mixed News for Democrats in the Senate Races

By: Thursday May 24, 2012 7:30 am

A flood of new Senate polling holds mixed news for Democrats as they try to retain control despite a very unfriendly map.

Commerce Department Slaps Large Tariff on Chinese Solar Panels

By: Friday May 18, 2012 6:45 am

Neoliberals and conservatives will get to trot out their favorite phrase, “trade war.” And to be sure, there’s a jobs vs. environment question to be asked about this latest move by the Obama Administration. But the Commerce Department has moved ahead with slapping high tariffs on Chinese solar panels.

Whistleblower Lawsuits Against Banks Extinguished in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

By: Sunday March 11, 2012 4:00 pm

How could a private citizen’s whistleblower suit get extinguished in a federal settlement? We haven’t seen the terms, of course, but apparently the Mackler suit could have been filed under the False Claims Act on behalf of the US government, which was being defrauded. Mackler probably got a payout for his services, but the suit sought $5,500-$11,000 in fines per violation, which could have ranged into the billions. So when faced with documented proof of noncompliance with and abuse under HAMP, the government simply passed it off and folded it into their settlement, and for good measure gave back all the incentive payments owed to the same banks alleged to have defrauded them in this lawsuit.

If there’s anything approaching accountability in the Obama Administration’s actions against the banks, I’m not seeing it.

Holding on to the Senate Is Looking More Possible for Democrats

By: Wednesday February 15, 2012 2:00 pm

The Senate map for 2012 is just inherently awful for Democrats. They have to defend incumbents in 23 states, while the Republicans only need to defend 10. Even if there is a relatively strong national Democratic turnout in 2012, the party will likely still have a net loss of Senate seats. With that factored in, though, the prospects for the Democrats at least narrowly holding on to the chamber have been improving.

Protesters Demonstrate in Front of Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Meeting in Chicago

By: Monday January 23, 2012 1:45 pm

Protesters have gathered outside a meeting taking place in Chicago today between officials with the Obama Administration and some state Attorneys General or members of their staff, aimed at reaching agreement on a low-ball settlement with leading banks over foreclosure fraud. The proposed settlement would give homeowners a pittance in exchange for a broad release of liability from prosecution for the banks.

Simon Johnson on the Proposed Foreclosure Fraud Settlement: “This is a law enforcement issue.”

By: Monday January 23, 2012 8:50 am

We may be getting close to a settlement betweent some state AGs and the mortgage bankers on foreclosure and related mortgage practices. Late on Friday I spoke with Simon Johnson, the former chief economist of the IMF and a professor at MIT, who also writes the Baseline Scenario blog with James Kwak. Johnson has been skeptical of the foreclosure fraud settlement.

Sherrod Brown Pressures Boehner on Chinese Currency Bill

By: Tuesday October 18, 2011 1:20 pm

John Boehner has declared the China currency bill, which passed the Senate with rare bipartisan support and 63 votes, “dead on arrival” in the House. So Sen. Sherrod Brown has an op ed in Boehner’s home town paper pressuring Boehner to support the bill and explaining how exchange rates are causing Ohio to lose jobs.

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