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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

I Got 99 Problems with Hillary, But Hot Sauce Ain't One

(2) Comments | Posted April 19, 2016 | 4:20 PM

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The 2016 primary fight has veered into stupid territory once again. Nothing Hillary Clinton does can not be without controversy it seems. On a Monday morning radio show with one of the biggest hip-hop and R&B stations serving New York, Clinton was asked...

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Reporter Confronts Mitch McConnell on Big Money in Politics

(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2016 | 1:46 PM

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Yesterday I asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his thoughts on Democracy Spring, the historic protests calling on Congress to take action on big money in politics, and taking place this week in the Capitol plaza.

Mitch McConnell is the number...

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Judiciary Chair: No Hearings on Obama SCOTUS Nominee Under Any Circumstance

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2016 | 11:35 AM

Reporting from ‪#‎CPAC2016‬... I asked Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley if there were any circumstances under which he would hold hearings for an Obama Supreme Court nominee.

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I Tried to Cover the Secret Koch Retreat and Here's What They Did to Me

(205) Comments | Posted January 31, 2016 | 3:03 PM

2016-01-31-1454277937-6186764-OfficersSecurity.jpg Co-written with Lisa Graves, Executive Director of the Center for Media & Democracy

The Koch brothers' donor retreats are notoriously secretive affairs, but after my publishing of several hours of audio from their 2014 summer confab, the network began...

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GOP Prez Candidate Regrets Repealing Major Bank Regulation

(0) Comments | Posted January 26, 2016 | 5:39 PM

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At the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention in Myrtle Beach, I asked GOP presidential candidate and former Senator Rick Santorum whether he would break up the banks and reinstate Glass Steagall, the Depression-era law that created a firewall between commercial and investment...

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Martin O'Malley to President Obama: I'd Sign It If I Could

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2016 | 3:58 PM

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Six years ago, the Citizens United Supreme Court decision unleashed a flood of secret special interest money into our political system. Congressional gridlock is preventing campaign finance reform, but President Obama can take executive action to address this problem now -- he can...

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Tea Party Rep: Despite Ties to Goldman Sachs, Ted Cruz Will Fight Wall St

(20) Comments | Posted January 20, 2016 | 7:38 AM

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Ted Cruz's wife is a managing director of Goldman Sachs and the firm loaned Cruz money for his Senate campaign. Hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer has donated millions to his super PAC. As a New York business tycoon, Donald Trump runs in Wall...

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Tea Party Congressman Wants to Roll Back Clean Air and Water Acts

(0) Comments | Posted January 18, 2016 | 5:33 PM

At the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention on Sunday, Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC 3) told me he wants to roll back the Clean Air and Water Acts and shrink the EPA. Meanwhile an enormous methane gas leak is poisoning the air in Southern California, and a state of emergency...

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I Was Manhandled by a Koch Capo

(152) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 11:33 AM

Kevin Gentry is the top fundraiser for the Koch brothers' right-wing political empire and a board member of its money hub, Freedom Partners. He emcees their twice-yearly seminars, where millionaires and billionaires convene to strategize on how to manifest a deregulated, libertarian, Ayn Rand utopia -- or dystopia,...

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Mainstream Media Won't Name Koch Donors, But We Will

(0) Comments | Posted August 3, 2015 | 9:45 PM

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David Koch, clearly unhappy with the publicity, golfing with VIP donors on Saturday, August 1.

Nine news outlets, including Politico and the Washington Post, have been given access to the Koch brothers donor fest on the condition that they not...

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Koch Donor Fest Underway in Monarch Bay

(13) 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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