Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, those Fannie Mae cheerleaders, played the largest role in writing the bill. Congressman Paul Kanjorski even offered a motion to memorialize it as the Dodd-Frank Act. It's as if Tony Hayward of BP were allowed to write new rules on deep water drilling.
The Federal Reserve, which promoted the housing mania and failed utterly in its core mission of monitoring Citigroup, will now have more power to regulate more financial institutions and more ability to dictate the allocation of credit.
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Barney Frank (l.) and Chris Dodd
The Treasury, which bailed out institutions willy-nilly without consistent rules, will now lead the Financial Stability Oversight Council that will have the arbitrary power to define which financial companies pose a "systemic risk" and which can be shut down without recourse to bankruptcy. Willy-nilly will now be the law.
And the SEC, which created the credit-ratings oligopoly and missed Bernie Madoff, will get new powers to decide how easy it should be for union pension funds to get their candidates on corporate proxy ballots.
Oh, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? They aren't touched at all, even as they continue to lose billions of taxpayer dollars each quarter.
The foxes are guarding the hen house. And though this drama is rich in irony, complete with the necessary ingredients of mystery and intrigue, corruption and mind-bending injustice, this drama is not fiction. It is our future and grand history mushed into one majestically, tragic plot with a collection of B and C-movie actors turning the screws. On us, the people.
I've read the book and I, for one, don't like the way it turns out.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
- The routine of targeting class enemies in the name of reform would become Roosevelt's hallmark (Shlaes 133).
- Roosevelt reminded his listeners of the importance of the fact that "our last frontier" had long since been reached...growth would not provide for the poor; only redistribution (135).
- On the matter of Roosevelt's election: Among the most pleased were the Soviet leaders. "Russians Hopeful of 'a New Deal,' ran the headline...from (the) New York Times (140).
- In response to Hoover's appeal to president elect Roosevelt for cooperation on the banking crisis: But Roosevelt was not interested in cooperation. We will never know all of his motives, but it was clear that a crisis now could only strengthen his mandate for action come inauguration in March (142).
- Comments from Tugwell, one of Roosevelt's adviser's on what the new administration's plans were: "Drastically higher income and inheritance taxes," among other sweeping changes (143).
- The country indeed saw Roosevelt as a savior (145).
- After a failed assassination attempt: "I have never in my life seen anything more magnificent than Roosevelt's calm," an investigator wrote later (146).