Senate Democrats beat back a Republican alternative amendment to Connecticut Democrat Christopher Dodd's Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 (S. 3217) and will soon consider an amendment to audit the Federal Reserve Bank authored by Louisiana Republican David Vitter. The GOP substitute amendment failed in a 38-61 vote May 6.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on May 4, saying that General Motors is misleadingly claiming in a TV advertisement that it has already paid back its government loan in full.
Newspapers are dying. That is the message from the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations, an independent firm that checks the average circulation of various print periodicals. The average drop of newspaper circulation nationally was 8.7 percent. This was somewhat smaller than the last quarterly audit, which showed an average circulation drop of 10.6 percent, but the circulation figures were bad enough.
The International Monetary Fund proposed a draft of two global taxes — a bank tax, and a “FAT” tax against what politicians deem to be excessive salaries or bonuses in the financial sector — at the Washington G-20 meeting last weekend. The final version of the proposal to create what the IMF calls a “stable global financial system” will be discussed by G-20 nations at the Toronto summit in June.
Some of the opponents of the recently enacted health care legislation may have been premature with their warnings about "death panels." A death panel of sorts can be found in the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, the financial regulation bill that has Congress divided once again along partisan lines. The bill would establish in the U.S Bankruptcy Court in Delaware an ominous-sounding Orderly Liquidation Authority Panel to preside over the (presumably) orderly process of putting out of business a large bank or non-banking financial firm whose "financial distress or failure" could create "risks to the financial stability of the United States..."
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit April 16 against New York-based investment bank Goldman Sachs. The SEC alleges that Goldman committed systematic fraud in marketing a package to investors without revealing a major conflict of interest.
Voice of America on April 1 quoted U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s statement that the U.S. jobless rate will be "unacceptably high" for a long time.
Friday’s announcement of more intervention in the housing mortgage market will result in a deeper, longer, and more painful delay in the inevitable decline in housing prices that are necessary to clear the market. According to the Obama administration, the “broad new initiatives” will help troubled homeowners to refinance their existing mortgages with more favorable affordable ones provided directly by the government. Part of the new program is “meant to temporarily reduce the payments of [those] borrowers who are unemployed [but are] seeking a job.” In addition, the enhancements include inducements to “encourage lenders to write down the value of loans [already] held by borrowers in modification programs.”