Daily Archives: June 27, 2016

Republican Policy Proposals: Wall Street Regulation Plan Released By Texas Rep Would Change How Washington Works

On a  side note: Volcker rule never went into effect yet due to the bank lobbyists pushing Congress to stall at rule to take into effect.

Hoping to find a way to show American voters the Republican Party doesn’t just represent stalled legislation and gridlock, members of the GOP in Washington have recently rolling out extensive policy proposals to reform the way taxes and — most recently — banks on Wall Street are handled.

Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, plans on unveiling a series of reforms to the country’s financial regulatory palate in the coming week, including what would effectively be a gutting of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform measure instituted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Hensarling doesn’t want to change all of the bill — which has been cheered by members on the opposite side of the aisle, including Hillary Clinton — just “89.7 percent,” he says .

Among the reforms House Republicans like Hensarling are pushing are reduced independence for the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (funding would come from Congress rather than directly from the Federal Reserve) and taking away the bureau’s ability to prohibit arbitration clauses in financial contracts. Hensarling would also like parts of the Fed — particularly the area that regulates financial institutions — to be under congressional budgetary oversight, the Economist reported.

Hensarling would like to repeal the so-called Volcker rule that bars banks and investment firms from trading on their own account. He would also like to replace government regulations on traders with hefty capital requirements (say, 10 percent of funding coming from equity from the firms themselves). Big banks would no longer be able to be bailed out by the government under his plans, either.

Read on.

How one man took on Wall Street and won

As David and Goliath stories go, Brad Katsuyama’s is a pretty good one.

The 38-year-old has taken on billions of dollars of vested interest on Wall Street, and won for the little guy.

His successes were detailed in the best-selling book Flash Boys by Michael Lewis, and apt for a tale that could read like a Hollywood movie script, Sony Pictures bought the film rights.

Brad’s story started in 2002 when he began working as a stockbroker in New York for the Royal Bank of Canada, aged 24.

Buying shares for his clients, Brad kept running into the same problem.

It went something like this – his team would go to purchase a bundle of stocks at a certain price. But once they pressed “buy”, only part of the order was available, and the price for the rest had gone up.

After some investigation he found that the problem was caused by something called “high frequency trading” (HFT).

But what is HFT? And why should we care?

Read on.

Game of Thrones day: Warren torches Trump, Trump calls Warren a racist, and former Senator Brown wants Warren to take a DNA test

More like the Game of Thrones. Elizabeth Warren got underneath The Donald’s skin again. Watch fingers Trump take to Twitter on this. Go Elizabeth!


And Trump’s response to campaign rally held in Ohio with Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren? Well, not only The Donald said that Warren is the least productive Senator but she is a racist! TPM:

“She said she’s 5 percent Native American. She was unable to prove it. She used the fact that she was Native American to advance her career,” Trump said, as quoted by NBC News. “Elizabeth Warren is a total fraud. I know it. Other people who work with her know it. Elizabeth Warren is a total fraud.”

“She made up her heritage which I think is racist,” he continued. “I think she’s a racist actually, because what she did was very racist.”

Oh, and former Sen. Scott Brown who was lost his Senate job to both Senator Warren and Senator Sheehan piles on and says that  Warren should take DNA test to prove her Native American roots. Now, maybe Brown should take a DNA test himself to figure out why he lost to two Senate women. lol!

I am guessing this was Trump’s research about Native American issues that was included in his briefing book:

JP Morgan Chase to Pay $3.75 Million to Settle TCPA Suit on Calls to Reassigned Phone Numbers

Pursuant to a motion filed in Florida federal court last Friday, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA (Chase) has agreed to pay $3.75 million to resolve a proposed class action in alleging the bank autodialed cellphone numbers that were reassigned from former customers to new users who hadn’t agreed to receive calls.

The case, James v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA (U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, Case No. 8:15-cv-02424) involved autodialed calls made by Chase intended for its own customers, regarding Chase deposit accounts, but that reached parties different than those Chase was trying to call.

Plaintiffs had filed suit in October of 2015 alleging that Chase violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by placing autodialed calls to cellular telephone numbers that were reassigned from Chase customers to new cell phone subscribers or customary users and as a result the company did not have the call recipients’ prior express consent to make such calls. Chase denied any liability or that its practices violate the TCPA.

Read on.

Disgraced Virginia Gov Walks as SCOTUS Loosens Bribery Law

Wow, crime does pay…This ruling does open the door to all current bribery cases of public officials to be challenged in the Supreme Court. It’s a shame that former Alabama Governor and convicted Don Siegelman should have taken his case to the Supreme Court long time ago since he too was convicted for bribery. Siegelman’s case was certainly politically motivated by Karl Rove. Siegelman is to be released on August 8, 2017.

(CN) — Potentially weakening federal corruption law Monday, the Supreme Court wiped the bribery convictions of former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell for accepting $175,000 in loans and gifts from donors for his family.
An election cycle dominated by outrage over money in politics has made McDonnell’s case one of the most anticipated rulings of the court’s term.
McDonnell’s trial two years ago revealed the governor nabbed a free Rolex, while his wife scored a shopping spree at Bergdoff Goodman, from a political donor who headed dietary supplement company.
The donor — Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams — also lavished McDonnell’s two daughters with wedding gifts.
With the gifts themselves largely undisputed, the Republican’s appeals rested on the notion that McDonnell took no “official acts” for the executive or his company, beyond arranging meetings.
For the ex-governor’s lawyers, access qualifies more as “politics as usual” than a criminal scheme.
In a unanimous decision Monday, the Supreme Court endorsed what some have described as a cynical view.

Read on.

Here is the Supreme Court ruling. Click here.

Trump Tries to Disband Students Suing Him

SAN DIEGO (CN) — Citing “changed circumstances,” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump moved late last week to decertify a San Diego class action over seminars aimed at teaching attendees how to get rich off the collapse of the U.S. real estate market.
In his 11-page reply filed Friday in support of a motion to decertify the class in Low v. Trump University, Trump attacked the “ensuing developments and changed circumstances” in the case brought by seminar attendees, including changing the lead plaintiff, motions to amend and recertify aspects of the class, and other changes.
Trump claims the recent switch-ups and motions have positioned the case in “these unchartered waters” because the plaintiffs have “stretched the law.” He argued the class should be decertified because the plaintiffs’ procedural arguments in the case are without merit and the court has a duty to monitor class decisions as evidence is developed in the case.
In the older of two San Diego class actions against Trump University, Sonny Low and former students claim they were defrauded by marketing tactics used to position the school as a way to get rich off the foreclosure crisis that resulted from the Great Recession. Among the most egregious claims, are that Trump University claimed it was accredited and that instructors were “handpicked” by Trump himself.
In their reply against the motion to decertify, Low and other plaintiffs in the case asserted defendants “were not diligent” because they could have filed the motion to decertify before the cut-off date, but Trump argues a cut-off date does not apply and asserts new facts in the case are what sparked the motion filing in the first place.
The new developments cited by Trump include the court order to allow former lead plaintiff Tarla Makaeff to withdraw, Low’s admission during his deposition he had never heard or saw a misrepresentation involving Trump University’s accreditation status, and other changes to the plaintiffs’ trial plan.

Read on.

And here is court document. Click here.

Draft Dem Platform Shows Sen. Sanders’ Influence

(CN) – A draft of the Democratic Party’s platform heading into the party’s July convention in Philadelphia includes many of the items Sen. Bernie Sanders advocated during his presidential campaign, including a $15 minimum wage, a multi-millionaire surtax, an expansion of earned income tax credits for childless workers and abolishing the death penalty.
The goodies for Sanders’ supporters also include a promise to break up too-big-to-fail financial institutions that pose a systemic risk to the stability of the economy and to increase funding and other resources for community health centers.
But this weekend’s meeting of the Democratic National Committee’s platform drafting committee wasn’t a complete win for Sanders and his supporters. Among the items blocked during the committee’s deliberations were calls to promote a Medicare-for-all single-payer health care system, a carbon tax to address climate change, and a freeze hydraulic fracking.
“I recognize there are bound to be some who are disappointed with the outcome, but our Party’s platform has always been both aspirational and imperfect,” said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., a committee member and former co-chair of the party’s progressive caucus. ”
“In fact, on issues like climate change, I voted with Senator Sanders, and didn’t get everything I was hoping for. This is how our democracy functions,” she said.
“We lost some but we won some,” said James Zogby, a Sanders supporter on the committee. “We got some great stuff in the platform that has never been in there before.”
The convention platform does not bind the Democratic nominee to the stated positions; rather, it serves as a guidepost for the party moving forward.
Party officials approved the draft early Saturday. It will next be considered at a meeting of the full platform committee early next month in Orlando, Florida.

Read on.

Italy prepares to shield its banks from Brexit fallout

Italy is preparing to protect its banks from a destabilising share sell-off following last week’s Brexit vote, sources told Reuters on Monday.

Shares in Italy’s two biggest banks, UniCredit (>> UniCredit SpA) and Intesa Sanpaolo (>> Intesa Sanpaolo SpA), fell by 8 percent and more than 10 percent respectively on Monday, in the wake of more than 20 percent falls on Friday after Britain voted to quit the EU.

Rome is concerned that Italian banks, which are saddled with 360 billion euros (303.26 billion pound) of bad loans, a third of the euro zone’s total, risk attack by hedge funds betting that Brexit turmoil could tip them into full-blown crisis.

A banking source familiar with the government’s thinking said officials were preparing to counter any such speculative attack, including the use of some kind of government guarantee.

Read on.