Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala, doesn't believe the financial reform bill the Senate began debating today will actually regulate the large
financial organizations whose risky actions threatened the entire economy in 2008. Instead, the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee sees the bill as something that will further institutionalize bank bailouts in the future.
Shelby noted that many large financial firms -- like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup -- have expressed support for the legislation. “(Large financial firms) know that the bill will bring them and Wall Street firms like them under the Federal safety net where they will get preferential treatment ...
Four of the 10 committee members on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that grilled Goldman Sachs today have received campaign contributions from the Wall Street Giant. The amounts and recipients are as follows:
• Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, is the leading recipient of money from Goldman Sachs. Employees, their family members, and the company's political action committee are his fourth largest career donor at more than $337,000. That figure includes donations to his Senate and presidential campaigns. There are no contributions recorded to McCain for the 2010 cycle.
• Sen. Susan Collins', R-Maine, campaign received almost $24,000 in 2010 ...
As part of the broader push to strengthen regulation of the financial industry, two agencies with sometimes conflicting responsibilities and rules joined forces to see how harmonizing their efforts might be effective in, among other things, protecting against fraud and forcing foreign trade organizations to register with them before doing business within the United States. However, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, released yesterday, highlights that the two agencies, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), did not assess how they could cover gaps in the agencies’ authorities to oversee derivatives—a central part ...Continue reading
The financial reform legislation regarding derivatives voted 13-8 out of the Senate Agriculture Committee this morning and on to the Senate floor. It’s intended to fend off any future government bailouts and prohibit the risky behavior banks participate in that caused the 2008 financial meltdown. But of course, the very organizations that these new laws will affect are using their money and expertise to influence the lawmakers in charge of making reform happen.
The proposed bill, introduced by Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., is planned to be folded into the bill Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., proposed this week on financial ...
Was the Hawaii Superferry project conceived of as a means of securing a military contract? Speculation in Hawaii among activists that the ferries might have eventually been used for interisland transport of the Army’s Stryker brigade and other military equipment fueled conflict between protestors and Superferry supporters.
In March 2005, John F. Lehman, a former Navy Secretary during the Reagan administration and the company's principal investor, told Pacific Business News that there was a possibility the ferries would be used to move military cargo. In 2008, the former CEO and President of HSF, Inc., Thomas Fargo, said that ...
Between 2004 and 2009, the U.S. Maritime Administration, or MARAD, a federal agency that supports the U.S. shipbuilding industry and merchant marine, made just one loan from its troubled Federal Ship Financing Program, also known as Title XI. The borrower was Hawaii Superferry Inc., a politically connected company that hired a former chief counsel and deputy administrator of MARAD, among others, to lobby the agency. In 2005, Hawaii Superferry got a taxpayer-guaranteed loan for $139 million to build and operate a pair of high-speed ferries in the fiftieth state. Just four years later, the company filed for bankruptcy ...Continue reading
The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) has started to grow again, after the Department of Treasury announced in December of last year the bailout would be coming to a close. Earlier this month, the Department of Treasury invested $21 million in small business loans with more investments to come that could total as much as $15 billion.
The money is being spent to purchase securities backed by the Small Business Administration in yet another effort to stimulate lending in the economy. The $15 billion dedicated to this program is considerably smaller than other TARP programs, such as the Capital Purchase ...
Today, in a huge win for transparency, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled that the Federal Reserve Board must disclose records containing information about how it intervened to bail out banks during the financial crisis.
Since Bloomberg News filed the lawsuit in November of 2008, the Fed has claimed that if the information is released it could do more harm to the already weakened banks by stigmatizing them, thus hurting their ability to compete.
Supporters of Bloomberg’s lawsuit say the public has the right to know where their money is going. These records tell which ...
USA Today reported yesterday
that an inspector general investigation and congressional critics say
that the Federal Railroad Administration, which awarded $8 billion in
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for high speed rail
projects around the country, lacked the technical expertise to choose
projects. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., the ranking member of the House
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, described the process as
“amateur hour,” according to the paper, and complained that too much
money is dedicated to increasing speeds on existing Amtrak routes. The
Sunlight Reporting Group ran a piece highlighting that a few weeks ago.
While Amtrak conceded that ...
Last month the Obama Administration announced which high speed rail projects across the country will receive portions of the $8 billion in Recovery act funds dedicated to advancing high speed technology in the country. However, the largest single beneficiary of the spending did not directly receive a dime. Amtrak, the federally funded rail company, will benefit from $4.5 billion worth of improvements to the infrastructure that its trains run on. That's in addition to the $1.3 billion in stimulus money the company received last year for capital improvements. The nearly $6 billion will supplement the annual appropriation ...Continue reading