Friday, June 09, 2017

The Trump-Ryan GOP Repays The Predatory Banksters-- The Dismantling Of Consumer Protections


I wouldn't call Comey's testimony yesterday "a distraction," but it sure did distract a lot of people from watching the Dodd-Frank repeal debate in the House that was going on roughly at the same time. The Republicans passed it 233-186. Every Republican voted for it except Walter Jones (R-NC) and all the Democrats who voted, voted NO. (It's worth noting that notorious Wall Street shill, Carolyn Maloney was voting earlier in the day but managed to absent herself when this vote went down.) This is a big one for Wall Street whores like Paul Ryan and Jeb Hensarling. Before we go any further, these are the 10 worst whores currently servicing Wall Street from inside the House of Representatives. The bribe amounts account for all reported contributions since 1990:
Paul Ryan (R-WI)- $9,781,835
Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)- $7,468,190
Ed Royce (R-CA)- $7,116,597
Pat Tiberi (R-OH)- $6,521,045
Joe Crowley (New Dem-NY)- $6,238,679
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)- $6,083,117
Steny Hoyer (D-MD)- $5,983,548
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)- $5,595,452
Jim Himes (New Dem-CT)- $5,590,002
Pete Sessions (R-TX)- $5,481,670

So yesterday while Comey was digging Trump's grave, Alan Rappeport was reporting in the NY Times that Ryan and Hensarling were passing legislation to gut multiple Dodd-Frank consumer protections. Written by bank lobbyists under Hensarling's name-- and deceptively titled the Financial CHOICE Act-- it rolls back fundamental consumer and market protections painstakingly established by Dodd-Frank, including eliminating the Volcker Rule that stops banks from gambling with taxpayer money; repealing the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s (FSOC) ability to detect signs of another potential financial crisis; and destroying the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) authority to hold credit card companies, banks, payday lenders, debt collectors, and other predatory financial industries accountable. Not surprisingly, Ryan and Hensarling took the opportunity to use the legislation to roll back important protections that pre-date the 2008 financial crisis-- a gigantic gift to Wall Street banksters and predatory lenders from the slimy politicians whose careers they have financed. It targets consumers, investors and real economy businesses and increases the likelihood of both another devastating financial crisis and another big bank bailout. Karl Frisch, spokesman for Allied Progress laid out a case that I see as why voters in their districts should end the careers of Ryan, Hensarling and everyone-- regardless of party-- who voted for this monstrosity:
This legislation destroys the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as an effective consumer regulator, making it impossible for it to act forcefully against unlawful practices in consumer markets. As a result, it would make it easier for predatory lenders, big banks, and other financial companies to rip people off.
CFPB has obtained $11.8 billion in relief from financial companies that broke the law for 29 million consumers. It is putting in place rules to stop tricks and traps that cost billions of dollars a year.
The legislation takes away key tools the CFPB needs to fulfill its mission, including its authority to supervise and bring enforcement actions against big banks; to prevent unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices; to regulate and enforce against lawbreaking by payday and car title lenders that charge sky-high interest rates; to maintain a public database of consumer complaints about financial firms; and much more.
The bill would destroy the independence that has made it possible for the CFPB to serve the public interest. It would take away the Bureau’s dedicated funding, allowing industry lobbyists to push Congress to defund any actions they don’t like. It would also permit the President to fire the Director at any time without cause, instead of the Director serving for a fixed term like other bank regulators.
Wall Street’s CHOICE Act would tie the hands of bank regulators and make it easier for banks to again take risks that endanger our economy.
The bill would repeal the Volcker Rule, which prohibits banks from acting like hedge funds by gambling with customer money.
The legislation sharply limits the ability of regulators to ensure that banks are managed in a safe and sound manner, and have adequate funds available to absorb potential losses without turning to the taxpayer for a bailout.
          The bill exacerbates the “Too Big To Fail” problem by stripping agencies of the power to wind down megabanks without bailouts.
It would eliminate the new authorities put in place to liquidate a bank without bailing it out or letting its failure crash the economy.
The bankruptcy process proposed as a replacement for government liquidation authority is fundamentally unworkable, and could also immunize senior executives from responsibility for a failure, instead of holding them accountable.
The legislation would gravely weaken the mechanisms for regulators to address emerging threats, eliminating their power to designate large non-bank financial institutions for greater supervision. A large non-bank, AIG, received the largest bailout in U.S. history.
The bill gives Wall Street a slew of new tools to overturn rules and make it harder for regulators to enforce the rules that remain.
It requires every major rule to be approved by Congress. Political gridlock would stop regulators from ever keeping up with Wall Street shenanigans.
It imposes dozens of additional requirements on agencies before they can take any new action, and vastly increases Wall Street’s power to stop any regulatory action in court.
The Wall Street’s CHOICE Act reduces protections for ordinary investors and the public in capital markets, and makes it easier for insiders to manipulate the system.
The bill contains numerous provisions that weaken or eliminate laws designed to prevent fraud and abuse in capital markets. For example, it would prevent regulators from banning bad actors from financial markets and make it much more difficult to use regulatory enforcement powers when companies broke the rules.
The bill would eliminate Dodd-Frank reforms permitting greater regulatory oversight of large private equity and hedge funds, which has thus far uncovered rampant abuse.
The bill would repeal a rule that requires retirement investment advisers to act in the best interest of their clients.
It repeals the fiduciary rule, which could prevent Wall Street from siphoning more than $17 billion a year out of the savings of American workers and retirees.
This legislation would free up banks to charge more to use a debit card, costing more than $6 billion per year.
The bill would repeal the Durbin Amendment, allowing big banks to rake in higher fees while doing nothing for community banks that are not covered by the provision.
South Florida progressive Democrat Tim Canova is primarying Wall Street ally and New Dem Debbie Wasserman Schultz (AKA, "Debt-Trap Debbie, darling of the payday lenders). He was predictably appalled at what Ryan and Hensarling were up to yesterday. "As an activist law professor, I have spent my entire career opposing the deregulation of Wall Street banks and their lending standards, and the gutting of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act firewalls that have separated commercial banking from investment banking and risky securities markets for decades. And I have long supported breaking up these huge financial institutions that have become Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Manage, Too Big to Regulate, and Too Big to Jail... For far too long, families and communities still carry the devastating scars of the 2008 financial crisis-- when millions of people lost their homes to foreclosures, lost their jobs, and lost their life savings, while Wall Street banks have enjoyed trillions of dollars in government support, with no strings attached. Now is not the time to repeal major protections of the Dodd-Frank Act by letting Wall Street run wild again!"

Ryan and Mimi
In his Times article yesterday, Rappeport referred to this as the Republicans' "mission." And as far as Trump's promise to implement a "21st Century version of Glass-Steagall," that's just another in his long list of campaign lies for the rubes who voted for him. Hensarling laughed at the idea-- which was also in the GOP platform last year-- yesterday. He said Trump and Mnuchin don't even know what they mean by that and indicated he isn't taking them seriously about it. Katie Porter, a consumer advocate, UC Irvine professor and progressive Democrat running for an Orange County congressional seat currently held by Trump-Ryan rubber stamp Mimi Walters, co-authored a book with Elizabeth Warren in this area reacted immediately after the outrageous vote yesterday.

"I've seen this from my own work fighting the banks on behalf of families," she told us yesterday after the vote, "Wall Street has far too much power in Washington. And there are too many politicians like Congresswoman Walters who take Wall Streets' money and vote whichever way the banks want-- all at our families' expense. And the bill she voted for today is the biggest legislative giveaway to Wall Street since the bailouts. Walters' bill she puts our entire economy at risk once more by allowing banks to take on excessive risk, the same type of deregulation that led to the 2008 collapse. It unleashes predatory lenders that prey upon servicemembers, seniors and consumers. And Walters' bill erases key protections for consumers and guts the independent government watchdog tasked with policing Wall Street. Wall Street wrecked our economy once already. Now, Congresswoman Walters is making it easier for the big banks to destroy families' livelihoods once again."

In a note to Orange County voters, Porter wrote that "Walters voted for the Financial CHOICE Act, a bill that will effectively dismantle the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and deregulate Wall Street. I’m not just disappointed, I’m angry... I saw firsthand what happens when our leaders in Washington fail to protect consumers. The big banks put in place their cronies who looked the other way, as Wall Street banks broke the law and preyed on families-- all to boost their billion-dollar bottom lines."

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At 6:15 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

The Republicans continue to demonstrate that they care nothing at all for this country - the American people, the environment, democracy, etc., let alone our partners in the world. They care nothing about ethics, Russia, or anything meaningful that would serve this country. They are traitors pure and simple, even without the Russia horror, which is the greatest threat the USA has faced since WW II. They laugh at the Constitution and stick it in the eyes of the Founding Fathers.

They will not lift a finger to do anything about Trump. They really do not care that he is bulldozing his way through the china shop of the USA breaking everything we cherish. They do not care that he is an incompetent, ignorant, impaired, belligerent, impulsive individual who is doing tremendous harm to us and our standing in the world. He is a Mafia boss in the White House, demanding loyalty to him, not the country.

The Democratic Party had better support much more progressive and outspoken candidates. This is the only way to win back Congress. Will they do it? I wouldn't bet on it, yet I have hope in the American people and I am trying very hard to be optimistic.

Every day Trump does not drop a nuke is a good day. That is how low my expectations have fallen.

At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look, no argument that the Rs are recreating the same conditions that caused 2008.

But who created them the first time? bill fucking Clinton and democrats. Look up CFMA, GLBA and various dereg bills. And note that they refused to enforce Sherman, just like everyone else.

But also realize that in 2009 obamanation and holder had a mandate to imprison bank fraudsters and refused. They also had a mandate to break up TBTFs and their counterparties in the ratings agencies. They also had a mandate to put regs on derivitives and BACK on finance.

They refused to do any of those things.

The dodd-frank pretense tweaked some things on the fringes and created the CFPB (which uncovered Wells-Fargo's literal millions of felonies that the DOJ wouldn't nor could any state AGs -- AZ is a red state), but otherwise stayed out of the way and allowed 2008's TBTFs to get much TBTFer.

and now barney frank gives "talks" to TBTF banks, just like $hillbillary does. Not for $hillbillary money, but they pay him a lot just the same. Gratitude for services rendered.

So, yeah, the Rs are giving their big donors a tongue bath today. But obamanation and democraps created them.

At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, Anon @ 10:18AM: In 2008, Obumma was elected with a 10 million popular vote majority ... AND a 365-173 electoral vote margin. He was also give massive majorities in both houses of congress. All, precisely, as "a mandate to break up TBTFs and their counterparties in the ratings agencies ...a mandate to put regs on derivatives and BACK on finance."

By the 2010 midterms his true identity as a corporate ass-licker was clear, the house majority flipped in a historic way and the senate followed later.

In 2016 the GOP's ultimate nominee had campaigned vigorously, if mendaciously, against the financial sector, to the justifiable delight of his supporters ... probably even "the deplorables."

The Dems, in their political "shrewdness," eliminated, by a variety of election fraud techniques, their candidate who SINCERELY campaigned against the financial sector to crowd after crowd of tens of thousands of supporters.

The crowning DNC achievement was the nomination of HRC, the darling of Goldman Sachs, the epitome of the murderous financial sector His Hairness was hammering. The "thousands" she attracted were the per-plate prices for her more intimate campaign gatherings. At these, she quibbled on the minimum wage issue, letting potential voters know that "$15/hour is too much for you but $330,000/hour from GS is my absolute minimum."

But, of course, His Hairness's victory was NOT about HRC's egregious tone-deaf arrogance/elitism ... in the face of a rapidly disappearing middle class, nor well-established GOP election fraud .... BUT Russia, Russia, Russia!!!

And, as if that hysteria is not stupid enough, we are supposed to want to dump Trump ... for exactly the same political policies, at best, PLUS virulent Christo-fascism? I don't think the presumed disappearance of early morning tweets makes the deal.

His Hairness may well be insane but the entire Dem establishment should seek a group rate on the psychoanalysis it sorely needs.

John Puma

At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a job for..........SUPER DELEGATE!!

At 6:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JP, obamanation betrayed his true color (green) when he nom'd his cabinet and staff immediately after the election. By the end of November, 2008, we should all have known we'd been royally had. Goldman-Sachs, rahm emmanuel and tom fucking Daschle (most corrupt D to that point in history)? A giant "Fuck You" to all the little people who donated and voted for him. My "hope for change" went poof almost immediately.


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