House weakens Dodd-Frank twice in one month amid lobbying blitz

Former Mass. Sen. Scott Brown now works for Peabody Nixon in "business and government affairs."

Former Mass. Sen. Scott Brown now works for Peabody Nixon in “business and government affairs.”

The Dodd-Frank Act is not quite five years old, but it has already become an intolerable obstacle to the American economy finance industry. Don’t worry: the finance, insurance and real estate industry spent $74 million on 704 registered lobbyists in the first three quarters of 2014. That’s a 2.5 percent increase in a year where every other industry’s lobbying expenditures went down. It was money well spent. Since mid-December, the House has voted to impose stricter cost-benefit analyses and judicial reviews on all enforcement agencies; today, it is expected to postpone enforcement of Dodd-Frank provisions and weaken related regulations on financial services. You didn’t think the finance industry would invest $74 million unwisely. I mean, what is this, 2008?

Continue reading

Matt Taibbi on the “1%-off”

Barack Obama, whose administration has pursued zero successful corruption prosecutions relating to the financial meltdown of 2008

Matt Taibbi is a writer with the virtues of his faults. The man who coined the phrase “vampire squid” to refer to Goldman Sachs has a knack for arresting rhetoric, but his reasoning can be breathless, too. Goldman Sachs is probably less like an evil sea monster and more like the complex problem of preserving egalitarianism in a post-industrial FIRE economy. Taibbi sure can write a screed, though. On Tuesday, he posted a scathing indictment of the 2012 election and, I think it’s safe to say, contemporary American democracy. As Americans literally riot in the streets over the outsized influence of Wall Street and corporate money on government and society, the race to the race to the White House feels like “a banal bureaucratic sideshow to the real event – the real event being a looming confrontation between huge masses of disaffected citizens on both sides of the aisle, and a corrupt and increasingly ideologically bankrupt political establishment, represented in large part by the two parties dominating this race.” Read that again and tell me any part of it seems implausible besides “looming confrontation.”

Continue reading