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06:50 AM on 05/22/2010
There can finally be no doubt whatsoever that we host a criminal element in our government, whose symbiotic relationship with corrupt bankers and corporations is so obvious that we Americans simply roll over and accept it as normal! All make vast amounts of money off the American taxpayer through this corrupt system. We are in deep, deep S**T as a country and a people, and it's going to take us a generation to get out of it until the cycle begins all over again.
09:03 AM on 05/22/2010
And this criminal element is right were it belongs: At the very top. When meaningful financial reform is sabotaged by the WH in favor to their paymasters I would call this criminal behaviour.The sstrange thing is nobody from this justice department seems to be investigating
03:37 AM on 05/22/2010
I would suggest that we not feed the trolls and the teabaggers. The bills and the amendments are available for anyone to read. There ARE good things in the proposed legislation. It's not perfect, but there are few bills that are. It's the nature of the beast. Arguing with people who just come here to insult and demean Congress or the President, when they have nothing intelligent or rational to say about the specifics of the proposed legislation, does nothing to promote civil discourse.
09:02 AM on 05/22/2010
Everybody who doesn't agree with your myopic point of view is a troll, eh? It must be sad to be you
04:37 PM on 05/22/2010
I have no problem with people who disagree with me, and good discussions can come about when two people debate different sides of a question. But dropping into a blog to snipe at something without contributing anything rational or intelligent to the discourse is what I have come to expect from trolls and teabaggers.

Your "It must be sad to be you" comment is a case in point. I seem to remember hearing that somewhere in the middle-school echo chamber. Am I supposed to now say, "I know you are, but what am I?"
Why Turn Around When You Can Just Pivot
09:56 AM on 05/22/2010
Ninety-nine percent of this legislation is left to government interpretation and enforcement.

We know how well that turned out last time.

The Office of Thrift and Supervision (oxymoron), has been disbanded and all the incompetents moved over to another agency.

Anyone who believes this is real reform is an idiot.
03:28 AM on 05/22/2010
Part I:
I generally like Simon Johnson's analyses. However, this article concerns me for a few reasons.

The first actually doesn't pertain to the article itself, but to the headline on the home page: "Senate Blocks Vote to Rein in Big Banks – Because It Probably Would Have Passed." Interesting interpretation of Johnson's article, but it probably tends toward hyperbole.

My second concern is with a statement that Mr. Johnson makes at the end of his second paragraph: "Brown-Kaufman failed, 33-61, but it demonstrated that a growing number of senators were willing to confront the power of our biggest and worst banks." I'm no sure how you can make the leap from the resounding defeat of Brown-Kaufman to viewing it as a demonstration "that a growing number of senators were willing to confront the power of our biggest and worst banks."

Mr. Johnson also suggests that the Merkley-Levin amendment did not have the support of the White House, but the White House economic adviser, Paul Volcker definitely supported the amendment and its goals. But I think Mr. Johnson is perhaps being a bit too sanguine when he touts "a big change of opinion within the Senate (and more broadly around the country)." "Around the country"? Probably. "Within the Senate"? Not so much.
08:20 AM on 05/22/2010
Oh, I see. His comments "concern" you, apparently cause for the rest of us to wait with breathless anticipation for your smug and nutty elucidations. You didn't like the headline? How bout the typeface and punctuation? Any issues there?

Your second "concern" is simply silly as you blithely reframe Johnson's argument, completely out of context. Brown-Kaufman is not - not - Merkley-Levin. Brown was a much more severe and frightening to four behemoths that control the industry. The fact that 33 Senators stood up to break up these very powerful interests is quite amazing. On the other hand the Volker Rule as recreated by Merkley really did have the momentum - and widespread support - to pass. The Republican procedural ploy to stop Merkley and Obama's quiet (fatal) distance are fact.

Here's a headline for you: Paul Volcker is not the White House.

So let's sum it up. Your smug and condescending, out-of-context misrepresentation and naivete concerns me. And "Mum", my dear boy or girl, is what you should be.
04:30 PM on 05/22/2010
I didn't reframe Johnson's argument and it wasn't out of context. I read both the Brown-Kaufman and the Merkley-Levin amendments, and I closely followed the voting on all of the amendments that came before the Senate. There was nothing to indicate that Merkley-Levin had "momentum" or "widespread support."

As for smugness and condescension, you have in spades, but if insulting me is the way you get your jollies then don't let me interrupt you with something that challenges your spoon-fed perceptions.
03:28 AM on 05/22/2010
Part II:
The article, and the home page headline, give the impression that the Merkley-Levin amendment would have passed had it made it to the floor for a vote. Based on what I saw and heard when I watched the proceedings, and what I read in the Congressional Record and the Senate Roll Call, I'm not so sure that would have been the case.

That being said, there are good things in this bill. You can go to these sites to check things out:
Senate Roll Call:
House Bill 4173:
Senate Bill 3217:

A couple of really good amendments were rejected: Whitehouse’s amendment “to restore to the States the right to protect consumers from usurious lenders”; Sherrod Brown’s amendment “to impose leverage and liability limits on bank holding companies and financial companies.” The very first amendment to be agreed to was Senator Boxer’s amendment “to prohibit taxpayers from ever having to bail out the financial sector.” And there were some other good amendments that were agreed to. Overall, it's a good step in the right direction, and we can build on this.
03:03 AM on 05/22/2010
We are meanaced by our old enemies, greed ,corruption, and duplicity.
Campaign contributions to members of the House of Representatives increased 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to a preliminary analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics. Contributions to members of the Senate increased by 2 percent.
The fact that the economy is pretty weak and fundraising seems to be robust may speak to the idea that 2010 will be a big year. If you look at business, charitable giving -- everything's struggling except for politics, if that is what you want to call it.
House members raised $78 million in campaign contributions, "cough-cough", in the last three months of the year, bringing the total for 2009 to $294 million, according to CRP. The average representative raked in $680,000. Senators raised $36 million in the fourth quarter, $152 million for the year. The average senator raised $1.6 million.
Much of this money is "contributed" by Wall Street. Lobbyists are invited to breakfast, lunch, or dinner with a lawmaker in return for a sizable campaign contribution. The lobbyists who attend such events saw a sizable increase in demand for their services in 2009, which turned out to be K Street's most profitable year ever.
Any wonder why we continue to read articles such as this one? Call it what you wish, but I will continue to call it for what it is, greed, corruption, and duplicity.
I've written on the Tea Party movement at politica
02:58 AM on 05/22/2010
The bottomline questions for me in this financial regulatory reform are quite simple and direct:

Will the reforms prevent a future catastrophic financial crash?

If not, will a future catastrophic financial crash be of such a magnitude, given the increasing size of the Wall Street casinos and other financial entities, that it would jeopardize the U.S. economic system?

If the answer to question one is NO, then we need more reforms.

If the answer to question two is YES, then we must prepare for the worst.

In other words, a Plan B to deal with Obama and the coming economic crash.
01:26 AM on 05/22/2010
Any guess as to when the CHANGE is coming?
03:29 AM on 05/22/2010
Read the bills, read the amendments, and then come back and make an intelligent contribution to the conversation.
09:26 AM on 05/22/2010
Why don't you?

This bill accomplishes almost NOTHING.
Why Turn Around When You Can Just Pivot
11:29 AM on 05/22/2010
Did you not get the memo?

November 2008.
01:22 AM on 05/22/2010
Well, we got the Obama administration supporting Drill Baby Drill and then the Spill Baby Spill.
Now, we got the Obama administration blogging real financial reform.
And, of course, we've got the Obama administration blocking real health care reform.
And, of course, we've got the Obama administration failing to get people back to work (though the financial industry enjoys record profits).
Obama, any one ?
Please, let us find a Democratic Presidential nominee who is a Democrat. Please!
01:06 AM on 05/22/2010
OK, is there any more Progressive news show than Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now"? Nope.

Here's what they say about the financial reform legislation: (spoiler alert--the legislation is not that bad)
03:30 AM on 05/22/2010
Thanks for the reminder. I missed "Democracy Now!" yesterday.
12:39 AM on 05/22/2010
America, I mean the Congress has turned into a bunch of cowards. They can be bought for peanuts as long as they can keep their jobs. They are as disgusting as corporate America. Neither group cares for their country. They care for the money they make (CEO) or the money they get (Congress) form these CEO's. No wonder America is becoming a joke in the rest of the world.
"those who don't study history are condemned to re
12:31 AM on 05/22/2010
Is there ever going to be any legislation that is passed that's good?
11:58 PM on 05/21/2010
NO end to "too big to fail": "Despite Dodd's floor statements (and improvements made at the request of Sen. Richard Shelby, the top Republican on Dodd's committee), the bill actually fur ther enshrines the special and privileged status of our largest financial institutions. It squashes whatever hope there was of bringing back market discipline to our largest financial institutions -- and guarantees ever-increasing concentration in our financial markets.

Going forward, we are left with relying on only the discretionary wisdom of the same regulators who were asleep at the wheel last time. And though that crisis cost millions their jobs, the Dodd bill won't see even one incompetent bureaucrat lose his. " Calabria
02:36 AM on 05/22/2010
Just out of curiosity, what were the improvements that you said were made at Shelby's request?

Have you read the House bill and the Senate amendments?
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11:48 PM on 05/21/2010
And about Bulls, this just in:

11:44 PM on 05/21/2010
Disguting how much corruption has permiated this vile Senate.
02:37 AM on 05/22/2010
Exactly how much corruption has "permiated [sic] this vile Senate." Would you like to name for me specific senators that you say are corrupt, and perhaps advise us in what way they are corrupt?
11:40 PM on 05/21/2010
Gloadman stopped their buy orders again to cause a market crash in order to give Congress cover for defeating any meaningful reform legislation. The President cannot figure out what is going on in the Gulf of Mexico or on Wall Street.