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Lauren Windsor
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Lauren Windsor is the executive producer and host of The Undercurrent, a political grassroots web-show on YouTube. She also produces written, graphic, and video content for her own website, LadyLibertine.net.

Entries by Lauren Windsor

Koch Donor Fest Underway in Monarch Bay

(2) Comments | Posted July 31, 2015 | 8:34 PM

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Donors and staff of the Koch brothers political network are descending on the St. Regis Monarch Bay Resort for their yearly summer seminar. Tables have been brought out onto the Grand Lawn; security personnel roam the halls; and Charles Koch himself has arrived.

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Republican Senate Banking Chair to DOJ: Prosecute Bankers

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2015 | 5:11 PM

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Dodd Frank financial reform legislation celebrated its fifth birthday on July 21. Nearly seven years after the financial crisis, much of the law has yet to be enacted; not a single banking executive has been prosecuted; and too-big-to-fail banks are even bigger. 
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Is JP Morgan's CEO Banking on Dodd Frank Repeal?

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2015 | 5:17 AM

As the fifth anniversary of the Dodd Frank financial reform law nears, Wall Street remains defiant at worst and flippant at best to addressing its malfeasance in the 2008 meltdown. A couple of weeks ago, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon gave career advice to young financiers at a UJA Federation fundraiser in New York.

Now, keep in mind that Dimon oversaw the bank through record-setting fines from the Department of Justice for a variety of financial frauds in 2013, including the now infamous London Whale fiasco. Subsequently his board rewarded him with a 74% raise.

Dimon regaled the crowd with an anecdote on the London Whale: how he ended up receiving a pep talk from New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady, who told him that everybody goes through rough patches. Dimon concluded, "Shit happens. Okay. And it's going to happen to you."

Financial crimes happen, as though there's no personal culpability whatsoever. This is the gold standard to which young bankers aspire.

Jamie Dimon didn't become Wall Street's Wonder Boy by accident -- he can be both brash and charismatic in defense of his proud, but beleaguered institutions. But he's also frequently out of touch. Softly acknowledging fault for Wall Street's role in the "catastrophe," he said public ire was "somewhat" deserved and "a little bit understandable." His analysis: "I do think it's incumbent on all of us to do a slightly better job, so we don't cause additional problems in the future."

Slightly. 20 billion dollars in fines for financial crimes warrants more than a slight adjustment in behavior.

This flippancy to assuming meaningful responsibility, coupled with the drive to make as much money as possible, underpins the psyche of Wall Street. One would-be banker wanted to know just how lucrative a career in finance could still be:
I was wondering what the future of banking looks like from JPMorgan's standpoint. Could it possibly be as attractive in the future for shareholders and employees as it was in the past with all, you know, this huge amount of government intervention and supervision?

Dimon assuaged his fears with a prediction: record profits in the near-term and dramatic growth in the financial industry in the next 15 years, with double the number of billion-dollar companies and double or triple the number of billionaires in emerging markets.

That's just what impoverished countries in the throes of overwhelming income inequality need: more billionaires.

The finance industry, already enormous by percentage of the economy and corporate profits, and presumably individual banks like JPMorgan, will be getting even bigger if Dimon is right, which begs the question: Is JPMorgan too big to fail?

This reporter asked the vaunted banker whether a recent assessment by Goldman Sachs that JPM should be broken up was valid, and he explained that the current discount on his bank's stock was caused by the "astronomical" regulatory, political, and legal burden on his bank, which "will go away." Dimon did not explain how he came to that conclusion.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made no secret of his desire to repeal Dodd Frank. Now that Republicans have control of both chambers, the senator just might succeed. Is Jamie Dimon banking on it?

A full transcript of Dimon's remarks can be found here. Subscribe to The Undercurrent on YouTube for more independent, on-the-ground reporting from Lauren Windsor.

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Uncovered: Scott Walker's War on Women

(2) Comments | Posted July 7, 2015 | 11:49 AM

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is on the cusp of announcing a 2016 presidential bid. Perhaps in an appeal to socially conservative Republican primary voters, he has gone on the offensive on women's reproductive rights.

In this week's Undercurrent: Uncovered, Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy digs...

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The Pope vs. the Koch Bros

(4) Comments | Posted June 30, 2015 | 4:03 PM

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On June 15, environmental activists gathered at the Smithsonian Castle for the institution's Board of Regents meeting, and marched to the National Museum of Natural History to protest climate-denier-oil-baron David Koch being on the museum's advisory board. The campaign to oust Koch from the board...
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Did John Kasich Just Call the Pope a Heretic?

(92) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 5:24 PM

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Ohio Governor, presidential aspirant, and Roman Catholic John Kasich took a swipe at the pope last Friday at a conference hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

Asked if he agreed with Pope Francis that climate change is a moral issue requiring...

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Jeb Bush: I Embrace Carbon Reduction

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 2:14 PM

The encyclical on climate change released by Pope Francis this week is wreaking havoc for conservatives. At the Road to Majority conference hosted by Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition, climate has been the top question on reporters' lips.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) claimed to be an...

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Financial Foxes Are Guarding the Wall Street Henhouse

(0) Comments | Posted June 15, 2015 | 4:30 PM

SEC Commissioner Slams SEC, and CFTC Commissioner Denies Role of Excessive Speculation in 2008 Crisis

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"Capital Unbound: The Cato Summit on Financial Regulation in New York City," Tuesday, June 2, 2015, New York City

Wall Street regulators recently spoke at a libertarian financial...

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Bank Runs Are Good, Cato Director Says

(4) Comments | Posted June 4, 2015 | 7:06 PM

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Bank runs are a good thing, according to George Selgin, the Director of the Cato Institute's Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives. Conventional wisdom holds otherwise -- just ask anybody who lived during the Great Depression, or held an account at IndyMac Bank...

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Uncovered: Corporate Lobbying Funded by Your Tax Dollars

(2) Comments | Posted May 28, 2015 | 5:25 PM

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Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) tells us about CMD and Common Cause's latest submission to the International Revenue Service (IRS) showing that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) functions as a corporate lobbying group, in violation of the...

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Donald Trump Will End Outsourcing If President

(3) Comments | Posted May 18, 2015 | 1:10 PM

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At the South Carolina Freedom Summit, Donald Trump said that he would impose a hefty 35 percent tariff on American multinational corporations like Ford Motor Company, in order to stop outsourcing to China and elsewhere. According to the Economic Policy Institute, between...

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GOP Hopeful on Budget: Cut Porno-Watching Gov't Employees

(76) Comments | Posted May 17, 2015 | 4:43 PM

I asked GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina what specific agencies and/or programs she would cut in order to streamline the federal government, at the South Carolina Freedom Summit. Rather than name specific agencies or programs, the former Hewlett Packard CEO named the following actions she would take:

1. Institute Zero...

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GOP Hopeful: Bruce Jenner Welcome to Campaign with Me

(4) Comments | Posted May 14, 2015 | 7:10 PM

In a recent and widely seen interview with Diane Sawyer about his transition to womanhood, Bruce Jenner surprised many people with the admission that he is also a Republican. At the South Carolina Freedom Summit, 2016 GOP hopeful Ben Carson was asked if he would campaign with Jenner if he expressed support for Carson's presidential bid. The former pediatric neurosurgeon replied that all Americans are welcome.

The Republican Party has not been particularly accepting of the LGBT community -- Carson himself opposes gay marriage, for example -- so his answer raises some questions.

From the look on his face, perhaps Carson did not realize who Bruce Jenner is? If that's the case, how does Carson not know? Beyond his fame as the Kardashian patriarch and the white-hot media speculation over his gender transition, Jenner is an American Olympic hero, having won the gold medal for the decathlon in the 1976 Montreal games. Has Carson been living under a rock?

On the other hand, if Carson does know who Jenner is, then welcoming him is an opportunity to differentiate himself from the crowded 2016 field as a social conservative who is also open-minded. Will other GOP hopefuls like Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, and Jeb Bush follow Carson's lead?

Republicans like to talk about being a "big-tent" party. Jenner is their chance to prove it.

(Jenner prefers masculine pronouns and to be called by...

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Scott Walker Lied, GOP Prosecutor Says

(6) Comments | Posted May 13, 2015 | 2:26 PM

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Introducing Naked News, a segment collaboration between Lauren Windsor of The Undercurrent and Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy...

Brendan reports on the pushback from the GOP prosecutor investigating Scott Walker, who recently said that the...

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GOP Rep Says Christians Are Persecuted in the US, Can't Give Examples

(638) Comments | Posted May 11, 2015 | 5:53 PM

At the South Carolina Freedom Summit, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN 7) advocated State Department intervention when asked what role the United States should play in protecting Christians around the world:

One of the things that we should be doing here is being very strong in our stance with religious freedom...
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GOP Crowd Applauds Calling Immigrants Rats and Roaches

(897) Comments | Posted May 10, 2015 | 6:35 PM

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During a focus group led by GOP pollster Frank Luntz at the South Carolina Freedom Summit, the mother-in-law of Citizens United president David Bossie compared immigrants to rats and roaches, to the delight of the audience. Bossie is the organizer of the summit,...

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"Clinton Cash" Author to Kochs: Don't Let Up on the Left

(2) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 1:59 PM

Peter Schweizer claims to be non-partisan, but is really a right-wing political operative.

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The road to 2016 will be a bumpy one for Hillary Clinton, despite the dearth of competition in the Democratic field. The Republican offensive has been ongoing since the 2012...

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Sen. Sessions: Debt Ceiling an Opportunity to Advance GOP Agenda

(1) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 3:47 PM

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On Tuesday, Speaker of the House John Boehner ended the months-long showdown over funding the Department of Homeland Security, despite strident objections from Republican hardliners seeking to block President Obama's executive orders on immigration. Though Democrats ultimately won this battle without making any...

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Homeland Security Showdown Is an 'American Snafu'

(1) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 8:47 AM

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Today, American Family Voices (an organization where I consult) released "American Snafu," a parody of an "American Sniper" movie trailer themed around the current Department of Homeland Security funding debacle. AFV is calling on Congress to pass a clean funding bill, without the contentious...

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House Dem: Trade Rep Said "Non-Negotiable" Climate Provisions Are Negotiable

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 4:23 PM

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One of the few areas of common ground with Republicans and thus one of the few opportunities remaining to burnish his legacy in the waning days of his administration, the Trans Pacific Partnership is a major legislative priority for President Obama. But it's...

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