The proposed $28 billion merger announced Thursday between large regional banks SunTrust and BB&T is the biggest banking tie-up since the financial crisis, creating what would become the nation’s sixth-largest bank. And it’s a direct result of actions taken by the Trump administration and the bipartisan group of lawmakers who passed a bank deregulation bill in 2018.
“There’s enormous appetite in the Democratic Party and among all Americans for major public investment to tackle our nation’s major crises: deepening inequality and structural racism and climate disaster,” said Waleed Shahid, communications director for Justice Democrats, in a statement to The Intercept. “Pelosi and the Democratic Party leadership’s support of Paygo makes actually solving these crises all but impossible.
In a piece titled “Why America needs low-yield nuclear warheads now,” Michael Morell and Jon Kyl argued that Russian and Chinese nuclear modernization programs demanded a response. “Russia is intent on exploiting what it perceives as a U.S. nuclear capability gap,” they write. “We must change that calculation” by adding submarine and sea-launched missiles with nuclear warheads. This would increase deterrence and prevent nuclear war, they claim; otherwise Russia will strike first.
Means testing has now come to disaster aid — and it only applies to Puerto Rico. When Congress passed a $36.5 billion disaster relief bill to bolster rebuilding efforts in several wildfire and hurricane-damaged areas in October, it shortchanged Puerto Rico, giving it a $4.9 billion loan instead of the grant that other areas received. Now, it appears the debt- and hurricane-ravaged island won’t even get that money.
In his first year in office, Trump ordered 95 separate reports, performance reviews, instructions, or other activities to be carried out by executive branch agencies. The Intercept has been reviewing these orders for the last year. We found that 48 of the 95 actions were completed, in many cases after the due date stipulated in the order. Federal agencies have yet to complete another 20. In 27 cases, the agency was unresponsive to our requests for information.
U.S. corporations are already beginning the process of pocketing the winnings from the tax bill jackpot they expect to hit any day now, undercutting, in a remarkably public fashion, the pretense that the corporate tax cut will lead to greater investment in job creation. Since the Senate passed its version of the tax bill on December 2, 29 companies have announced $70.2 billion in stock buybacks, a maneuver that uses company cash to buy its own shares, which then drives up the price of those shares, rewarding major investors and executives whose compensation is directly tied to the company’s stock price.
The fight over the leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is assumed to be about President Donald Trump’s intent to deregulate finance. But it’s also part of a larger fight about separation of powers and the expanding authority of the executive, made clear by the Trump administration’s use, and abuse, of the law the president relied on to attempt to install Mick Mulvaney as acting director.
With the window to gut a critical consumer protection regulation rapidly closing, the Treasury Department on Monday launched an unusual attack on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s arbitration rule, relying heavily on a discredited industry theory that claims that trial lawyers routinely bully corporations into class-action settlements.
A watchdog organization has asked the Justice Department to investigate Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for allegedly making repeated false statements to Congress about the conduct of OneWest Bank, where he served as CEO and later chair between 2009 and 2015. ”Mnuchin has repeatedly denied that his former bank engaged in robosigning foreclosure documents. The evidence is overwhelming that it did.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren had a confounding exchange with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at a Senate Banking Committee hearing today. Mnuchin indicated that the Trump administration supports a 21st century version of the Glass-Steagall Act, except for the part about separating commercial and investment banks, which is substantially what is meant by Glass-Steagall.
Critics are charging that billionaire investor Carl Icahn has used his position as Donald Trump’s deregulatory czar to strong-arm the ethanol lobby into agreeing to a change that will save one of Icahn’s companies $200 million a year.If so, this would be the most obvious example yet of crony capitalism in the Trump era.
Donald Trump’s February 3executive order enabling financial advisers to continue ripping off their clients could prove a lifeline for a surprising beneficiary: the private equity industry. The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule would have forced investment advisers in workplace retirement plans like 401(k)s to operate in their clients’ best interests, rather than recommending high-cost, high-risk products that offer the advisers kickbacks and perks.
Excellent article, discusses the role and power of the president in pressuring businesses to do the right thing for the American people. It points out that Obama has used those powers to influence businesses in certain areas like pay hikes but refused to do that when it came to outsourcing.
Joshua Wright has been put in charge of transition efforts at the influential Federal Trade Commission after pulling off the rare revolving-door quadruple-play, moving from Google-supported academic work to government – as an FTC commissioner – back to the Google gravy train and now back to the government.
Donald Trump’s election has likely given a massive lifeline to Deutsche Bank, the German financial firm that has been rocked recently by rumors that they would have to pay a $14 billion fine to the Justice Department over crisis-related mortgage abuses. That money is unlikely to ever be imposed, now that one of Deutsche Bank’s biggest borrowers – Trump – will soon be sitting in the White House.
Roger Lowenstein, the journalist-turned-chairman of the Sequoia mutual fund, criticizes Warren, “the nation’s unelected regulatory czar,” for being too outspoken about the financial industry. Lowenstein is the director of a mutual fund, which stands to lose significant market share if investors leave for index funds. So his hit job on Elizabeth Warren has the dual purpose of lobbying a regulatory agency to protect his business.
Like many Americans, Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to know why the DOJ hasn't criminally prosecuted anyone responsible for the 2008 financial crisis. On Thursday, Warren released two highly provocative letters demanding some explanations. One is to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, requesting a review of how federal law enforcement managed to whiff on all 11 substantive criminal referrals submitted by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), a panel set up to examine the causes of the 2008 meltdown
Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a leading candidate for the Democratic nominee for vice president, has signaled to the financial industry that he’ll go to bat for them. On Monday, Kaine signed onto two letters, one to federal banking regulators and the other to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, urging them to loosen regulations on certain financial players.