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December 23, 2014

Financial Reform Newsletter – December 23, 2014

Financial Reform Newsletter
December 23, 2014

Before we get to the best of Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert 2014 Wall Street segments, here are a few items that might interest you:

What Was That Year-End CRomnibus Swaps Push Out Funding Fight All About and Why Should Anyone Care?  Take a few minutes to watch these 2 very short videos and find out.

PBS Newshour: Is the 2015 spending bill a gift to big banks?

MSNBC The Reid Report: Showdown mounts over Cromnibus bill

Fed Vice Chairman Surprised that Wall Street Lobbying and Attacks Have Had an Unbelievable Influence Over Financial Reform:  After five-plus years of Wall Street’s powerful too-big-to-fail banks all-out war on financial reform, the Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Stanley Fischer, stated last week

I thought that when Dodd-Frank started, that the banks would not succeed in influencing it, having lost all the prestige they lost.  Boy was I wrong.

This inexplicably belated observation was prompted by Wall Street’s latest power play, inserting a special interest provision into the must-pass CRomnibus funding bill: the swaps push out provision that was written by Citigroup.  This was so important to Wall Street’s too big to fail banks and their CEO’s bonuses that JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon personally called lawmakers to lobby for it.  This provision will put taxpayers back on the hook for Wall Street’s too big to fail banks’ high-risk derivative trading

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker Slams Wall Street and Fed for the Latest Delay of Financial Rules to Protect Taxpayers: Shortly after Mr. Fischer’s comments, the Fed (of which he is the Vice Chair) granted those very same too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks a multi-year extension to comply with a key provision of the Volcker Rule.  This latest extension means that these taxpayer-backed Wall Street banks have massive illiquid investments that they cannot dispose of in less than seven years, which is just more evidence of the serious threat they still pose to the financial system and taxpayers.”  As the Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker himself eloquently put it,

“It is striking that the world’s leading investment bankers, noted for their cleverness and agility in advising clients on how to restructure companies and even industries, however complicated, apparently can’t manage the orderly reorganization of their own activities in more than five years. Or, do I understand that lobbying is eternal, and by 2017 or beyond, the expectation can be fostered that the law itself can be changed?”

Six Christmases Have Passed Since Bernie Madoff Turned Himself In for Masterminding the Largest Ponzi Scheme in History (hint: $64.8 Billion):  Madoff is sitting in prison, but what happened to the big, powerful, politically connected too big to fail Wall Street bank that made it all possible?  Well, it being JP Morgan Chase, you probably guessed it: a fine shareholders funded, and not one individual held accountable.

The news on Wall Street and financial reform has not really been all that funny this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t end the year on a laugh!  Here’s Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert taking on some of the funniest non-funny Wall Street-related highlights this year (warning: some coarse language is not suitable for people of all ages and the subject matter could be very disturbing to those concerned about the future of the country):  

Daily Show December 16, 2014: The Grand Budget-Passed Hotel

Daily Show October 9, 2014: Lawsuits of the Rich and Shameless

Daily Show September 2, 2014: Wealthy Choice

Colbert Report May 19, 2014: Elizabeth Warren vs. Wall Street

Colbert Report May 19, 2014: Interview of Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Daily Show May 6, 2014: And Justice For Some

Daily Show April 1, 2014: Michael Lewis Extended Interview

Better Markets in the News

Is the 2015 spending bill a gift to big banks?: PBS Newshour, 12/18/2014

Fed’s Delay of Parts of Volcker Rule Is Another Victory for Banks: New York Times, Peter Eavis, 12/19/2014

Banks win Fed extension on Volcker Rule provision: Los Angeles Times, Dean Starkman, 12/19/2014

Populists Press Democrats to Ease Clinton-Era Embrace of Bankers: Bloomberg, David Lynch, 12/19/2014

Elizabeth Warren: Wall Street Just Got Another Giveaway: Mother Jones, Erika Eichelberger, 12/19/2014

Fed Delays Volcker Rule, Giving Wall Street Another Holiday Gift: Huffington Post, Zach Carter, 12/18/2014

Articles of Interest

When Regulators Are Blind to Rules: New York Times, Floyd Norris, 12/18/2014

Volcker lambasts Wall Street lobbying: Financial Times, Tom Braithwaite and Richard Blackden, 12/19/2014

Citigroup Was Wary of Metals-Backed Loans: Wall Street Journal, Christian Berthelsen and Sarah Kent, 12/21/2014

Fresh Doubt Over the Bailout of A.I.G.: New York Times, Gretchen Morgenson, 12/20/2014

EC postpones swaps frontloading: International Financing Review, Helen Bartholomew, 12/19/2014



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