Tag Archives: The Fed

Keep Wall Street risks away from Main Street | islandpacket.com

The four biggest banks — JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo –now control more than two-fifths of all bank deposits, more than 66 percent of all credit card accounts and more than half of all mortgages in the U.S.Unfortunately, they also run trillions of dollars in risky trading ventures that could blow up in our faces again.We need to keep risk where it belongs — on Wall Street — and security where it matters — on Main Street. That way, if the derivatives cowboys want to take obscene risks, they can but without driving the rest of us to the brink of financial oblivion.

via Keep Wall Street risks away from Main Street | islandpacket.com.

via Keep Wall Street risks away from Main Street | islandpacket.com.

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McCain and Cantwell Want a New Glass-Steagall Law | Newsweek Voices – Michael Hirsh | Newsweek.com

The blinding complexity and interconnections created by modern capital markets—especially because of the way nearly half a trillion dollars in derivatives trades linked the firms to each other—demanded that there be strong firewalls and capital buffers between Wall Street institutions and their affiliates, and between banks and nonbanks and insurance companies. Otherwise there would be no islands of safety—no healthy institutions left to come and rescue the day, as commercial banks traditionally had done since the days of J. P. Morgans famous bailout in 1907. The repeal of Glass-Steagall took things in precisely the opposite direction, eliminating most of the firewalls and inviting staid commercial banks into the buccaneering world of Wall Street trading. Representative Hinchey says it “was a recipe for disaster because these banks were empowered to make large bets with depositors money, and money they didnt really have. When many of those bets, particularly in the housing sector, didnt pan out, the whole deck of cards came crumbling down and U.S. taxpayers had to come to the rescue.”Today the walls between firms still seem low indeed, and trading in derivatives that are “over the counter” that is, out of public sight continues at an astonishing pace, having risen back up to nearly $600 trillion worth. One big danger sign ahead is that the biggest banks have gotten even bigger in the aftermath of the catastrophe, and under the new rules requiring swap dealers to post capital for margin requirements, the big banks are likely to monopolize even more of this derivatives market and become that much richer and more powerful.

via McCain and Cantwell Want a New Glass-Steagall Law | Newsweek Voices – Michael Hirsh | Newsweek.com.

via McCain and Cantwell Want a New Glass-Steagall Law | Newsweek Voices – Michael Hirsh | Newsweek.com.

Regulators Resist Volcker Wandering Warning of Too-Big-to-Fail – Bloomberg.com

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) — Paul A. Volcker visited nine cities in five countries in the past eight weeks to warn that bankers and regulators “have not come anywhere close to responding with necessary vigor” to the worst economic crisis in 70 years.

“There is a lot of evidence that financial weaknesses brought us to the brink of a great depression,” Volcker, 82, said Dec. 8. at a conference in West Sussex, England. He told executives there that the changes they’ve proposed are “like a dimple.”

Two years after the start of the deepest recession since the 1930s, no U.S. or European authority has put in force a single measure that would transform the financial system, based on data compiled by Bloomberg. No rule- or law-making body is actively considering the automatic dismantling of banks that Volcker told Congress are sheltered by access to an implicit safety net.

There’s little evidence that policy makers are heeding Volcker, the former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

via Regulators Resist Volcker Wandering Warning of Too-Big-to-Fail – Bloomberg.com.

via Regulators Resist Volcker Wandering Warning of Too-Big-to-Fail – Bloomberg.com.

Strange coalition targets Ben Bernanke – – POLITICO.com

Very interesting development here.

“There’s a strange political cocktail brewing in Washington, one that mixes top conservative strategist Grover Norquist and tea party organizers at FreedomWorks with democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt., progressive activists and public interest advocates.The unlikely coalition’s bid to block Ben Bernanke’s nomination to a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve until Congress votes on legislation to audit the secretive central bank is tapping into a growing anti-establishment mood — and legislators up for reelection next year are taking notice.The Fed fighters’ charge that the White House favored Wall Street over the public interest during the financial crisis appeals to a lot of people these days. Average voters resent the government’s response to the market meltdown — the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, the auto industry bailout and the trillions doled out by the Federal Reserve — because it hasn’t seemed to help them out, as the national debt has soared and the unemployment rate has moved north of 10 percent. It’s a populist anger that goes far beyond traditional definitions to include, as one analyst noted, people living in gated communities in Florida.“They look at Wall Street, and they say, ‘Who’s been held accountable? Anybody going to jail? No? These guys are actually getting huge bonuses,’” said Sanders, whose campaign to block Bernanke has been embraced by progressive and conservative groups alike.“Bernanke represents the status quo. People want a change in the way Wall Street functions; they want a change in the way the Fed functions,” Sanders said.”

<p>via <a href=”http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30278.html&#8221; mce_href=”http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30278.html”>Strange coalition targets Ben Bernanke – – POLITICO.com</a>.</p>

via Strange coalition targets Ben Bernanke – – POLITICO.com.