Remember Dodd-Frank?

Does anyone remember the days around 2008?

The financial collapse….remember now?

Well after the collapse Congress did all they could to make things better for the society and spawned the rooks on Wall Street…..it was called Dodd-Frank.

In case you have no damn idea what I am talking about…..

Dodd-Frank is also geared toward protecting consumers with rules like keeping borrowers from abusive lending and mortgage practices by banks.

It became the law of the land in 2010 and was named after Senator Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) and U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), who were the sponsors of the legislation.

But not all of the provisions are in place and some rules are subject to change, as we’ll see.

The bill contains some 16 major areas of reform and contains hundreds of pages, but we will focus here on what are considered the major rules of regulation.

https://www.cnbc.com/id/47075854

Basically the Congress allowed the industry to write the bill and then makes it look like someone is protected……you are NOT!

The pandemic has created a similar situation,,,,and Congress is doing what it always does….bails out the crooks as a solution to the problem….

Big business and banks are just as corrupt and eager to shovel profits to senior executives 10 years after the landmark banking reform legislation known as Dodd-Frank as they were during the 2008 crisis, a new report warns, because the bill’s regulations on executive pay remain unimplemented.

“White collar crime pays, and until Congress enacts the rules to change it, we’ll continue to see top executives raking in off catastrophes of their own making,” report author Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate at Public Citizen, said in a statement.

The report lists billions in bonus cash paid out to executives over the past decade despite Dodd-Frank’s regulatory framework banning such cash-outs.

“It’s 2008 all over again,” said Naylor. “Congress is bailing out Big Business and enriching CEOs while workers scrape by as the economy lurches downward in a pandemic.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/21/white-collar-crime-pays-decade-after-dodd-frank-executives-still-lining-their

Once again the Congress is only protecting their donors……. they care NOTHING for the “people”……and yet we are to believe that they have our best interests at heart……

Time for them to have a wake up call….and the people take back the government that began with them in mind and has gone so far off the original track.

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Remember All Those Tariffs?

Well I do and I have written about Trump’s tariffs extensively……https://lobotero.com/2018/03/05/word-of-the-week-tariffs/ and https://lobotero.com/2019/12/18/tariffs-trump-weapon-of-choice/

Before I continue…do I need to refresh everyone’s mind on the tariff thing?

I thought so……https://lobotero.com/2019/10/03/sanctions-and-tariffs/

Now that I cover all my bases…..let’s move on to the news on tariffs.

A study by the Federal Reserve has found that the tariffs that Trump so loves has done MORE HARM than good….

President Trump‘s tariffs on imports — meant to boost the economy — ultimately led to job losses and higher prices, a new study from the Federal Reserve has found.

“We find that tariff increases enacted in 2018 are associated with relative reductions in manufacturing employment and relative increases in producer prices,” the report by Fed economists Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce reads.

MarketWatch first reported the study, noting that 10 primary industries were hit by retaliatory tariffs and higher prices, including producers of magnetic and optical media, leather goods, aluminum sheet, iron and steel, motor vehicles, household appliances, sawmills, audio and video equipment, pesticide, and computer equipment.

https://thehill.com/policy/finance/476100-fed-study-trump-tariffs-backfired-caused-job-losses-and-higher-prices

And how much of that profit hiding offshore accounts have returned to the shores of the US?

Not enough to make a difference….but wait I thought that was going to be a gimme when Trump won….what happened?

The world economy does not look good for the next several years…..between an idiot in the White House and a pandemic….all is NOT well.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has significantly increased its forecast for the contraction in global economy, warning that it will take a cumulative $12 trillion hit over 2020–2021. Updating its forecast yesterday, the IMF said the global contraction for 2020 would be -4.9 percent, some 1.9 percentage points below the forecast it issued in April.

The IMF said that for the first time ever all regions of the world are expected to experience negative growth in the 2020.

Growth in the advanced economy group is projected at -8 percent this year. The US economy is predicted to contract by 8 percent, Japan 5.8 percent, the UK 10.2 percent, Germany 7.8 percent, France 12.5 percent and Italy and Spain 12.8 percent.

If Trump wins in November I cannot to see what monumental economic stupidity he will cough up or pull out of his ass next.

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The Next Stim Package

It appears the economics will be the savior of the nation during this pandemic.

We have already had 4 or 5 stim packages to lift the morale and hopes of the American people while steadily increasing the profits of corporations.

And now I hear the Dems and others are talking about another round of stim to help cope with this virus….but what should be included in the final bill?

How about such deals as pay check guarantee or mortgage/rent assistance or maybe some economic stabilizers……

For the next stimulus package, some lawmakers want to go bigger. Much bigger.

While it could be weeks before members of Congress land on the next bipartisan bill to combat the economic fallout of the coronavirus, many have no shortage of ideas about what that could look like. House Democrats, after all, have already passed their $3 trillion opening bid, with a focus on getting more than $900 billion to states and cities.

Make no mistake, focusing on an influx of funding to local governments is hugely important and could do a lot to stave off the long-term economic effects of the crisis. But other ideas that have been proposed — like a federal paycheck guarantee or rent cancellation — would also be more ambitious ways to address the problem than what lawmakers have done so far.

A focus on implementing such expansive stimulus could well be warranted given the scale of the problem: Economists say that Congress’s economic support needs to match the devastating nature of the issue at hand. As of mid-May, the country’s unemployment rate is still growing, with more than 36 million people applying for unemployment insurance within the first eight weeks of the crisis.

https://www.vox.com/2020/5/18/21246421/congress-stimulus-ideas

But then I ask…who will these “guarantees” actually benefit…the average American or the people that control their lives?

Plus I do NOT see Trump approving of this stim package….this would not benefit many of his buddies….or enrich himself.

Any thoughts?

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“lego ergo scribo”

Dems And Stims

Then Congressional Dems have offered up economic stim plan #5….a 3 trillion virus relief plan….

US Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a $3 trillion coronavirus response package, the largest yet, to fund efforts to fight the pandemic and provide emergency payments to millions of American households.

The Heroes Act was introduced in the House of Representatives and could be voted on in the Democratic-led chamber as early as this week.

But the 1,815-page measure faced immediate opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate, where leaders have said a new round of emergency funding is not yet needed.

President Donald Trump has also said recently that he is against rushing through new coronavirus legislation.

Trump has signed four pandemic relief measures into law in recent months.

They including a massive, $2.2 trillion rescue package in March known as the Cares Act, and a $483 billion measure to pump funds into a popular loan program for small businesses devastated by lockdowns.

The new bill, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dubs Cares 2, includes a second round of payments of up to $6,000 per household, in an effort to ease the burden for tens of millions of Americans who have lost jobs in the pandemic.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/us-democrats-unveil-3-trillion-virus-relief-package-205046095.html

But is this plan as good for us mere mortals as it sounds?

The answer is…..”Democratic leadership has had plenty of input from progressive thinkers over the past couple of months. They just care more about the input from corporate lobbyists.”

There is your answer……

House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a sprawling 1,815-page, $3 trillion coronavirus relief package that spurns many of the key demands of progressive activists and lawmakers while including proposals that immediately provoked backlash, such as a tax cut for the wealthy and a provision that would allow corporate lobbying organizations to take part in federal small business loan program.

Formally titled the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, the bill (pdf) would provide $1 trillion in additional funding for state and local governments, extend beefed-up unemployment benefits through January of next year, authorize an additional round of one-time $1,200 stimulus payments for adults earning up to $75,000 per year, expand federal nutrition benefits, provide $25 billion for the U.S. Postal Service, establish a hazard pay fund for frontline workers, and increase spending on Covid-19 testing.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/12/no-excuse-house-dems-unveil-1815-page-bill-would-bail-out-corporate-lobbyists-omits

More info on the Dems big plan……

The Heroes Act proposes fully subsidizing COBRA, an existing health insurance program that allows laid-off or furloughed workers to remain on their employer-provided insurance plans. Under normal circumstances, COBRA is extremely expensive for individuals—recipients have to cover both their own and their employer’s premium payments—but the Democratic plan would cover 100% of the premium costs through next January.

COBRA expansion has the backing of a bizarre alliance of interests, including big business and some labor unions, but critics say the proposal is wildly inefficient and does not come close to matching the scale of the nation’s current healthcare crisis.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/13/massive-giveaway-health-insurance-ceos-democratic-cobra-plan-denounced-costly

“The historic crisis Americans are facing will not end on its own. To end it, these three things—getting people paychecks, ensuring access to healthcare, supporting businesses and their workers—are critical. But this legislation does not yet address them at the scale necessary.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/13/jayapal-rips-democratic-covid-19-bill-doesnt-end-mass-unemployment-or-ensure

Sounds more like a major bail-out for the profit health industry…..when an expansion of Medicare would have benefited more people…..it is all fraudulent relief……

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday released a $3 trillion coronavirus “relief” bill and scheduled a vote for Friday. The Democratic leadership has acknowledged that the measure has no chance of gaining passage in the Republican-controlled Senate, let alone being signed into law by President Trump.

The release of the bill initiates a process of political theater in which the two parties posture to rally their respective bases and generate sound-bites for campaign ads ahead of the November elections. It is expected that the measure will pass on a party-line vote in the Democratic-controlled House, setting off weeks of negotiations between the Democrats and the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/14/dems-m14.html

Image

This show just how non-progressive the Dem leadership truly has become…..

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A New Economic Solution

During this time of the pandemic and the loss of jobs the American people are suffering and the economic solutions of Donald the Orange have helped NO one but the already rich…..

Has anyone asked why this pandemic is harder on the economy than the 1918 pandemic which was far deadlier?

“Congress [has] a responsibility to make sure that people aren’t left behind,” a release from Harris says. “Every US resident” would receive a payment, even if they don’t have a Social Security number or didn’t file taxes last year. Debt collectors would also be forbidden from taking the payments. Forbes notes that it’s tough to see the billing passing as is, given that it would give a family of four $8,000 a month. That translates to $96,000 a year, above the median income of $62,000 in 2018. The bill is also competing for funds with similar ones in the works; the magazine notes that “while it is possible an additional stimulus bill may be passed, we will likely see major revisions that would reduce [the] total expenditure of this or other proposals.”

This catastrophe naturally hurt the economy. The Spanish Flu, unlike Covid-19, tended to kill people in their 20s and 30s — their peak productive years. Additionally, many cities responded to the threat the same way states are now with social distancing. These included closing schools and churches, banning mass gatherings, mandated mask-wearing and other restrictions.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-05-06/why-coronavirus-is-punishing-the-economy-more-than-spanish-flu

A little historical perspective and now for the plan…..

A few senators have offered a new economic solution to help us mere mortals through this crisis…..

Americans who received a $1,200 stimulus check from the government to help mitigate financial losses during the coronavirus pandemic could now be coming to a sobering realization: It may not be enough. Three senators are saying the same, and they’ve just put forth a “big idea” to deal with the issue, per Politico. On Friday, Sens. Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Ed Markey unveiled the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, which would give a monthly $2,000 check to each American who makes less than $120,000 a year. Married couples filing jointly would get a total of $4,000, while each child (up to three of them per family) would bring in $2,000. The payments would be retroactive to March and would continue until three months after the virus emergency is officially declared over by Health and Human Services.

“Congress [has] a responsibility to make sure that people aren’t left behind,” a release from Harris says. “Every US resident” would receive a payment, even if they don’t have a Social Security number or didn’t file taxes last year. Debt collectors would also be forbidden from taking the payments. Forbes notes that it’s tough to see the billing passing as is, given that it would give a family of four $8,000 a month. That translates to $96,000 a year, above the median income of $62,000 in 2018. The bill is also competing for funds with similar ones in the works; the magazine notes that “while it is possible an additional stimulus bill may be passed, we will likely see major revisions that would reduce [the] total expenditure of this or other proposals.”

Does this sound like a plan that you would support?

Of course this will go NOWHERE….but it looks good on an resume for the next election….personally, I support the idea….

Spain has rolled out the idea of “universal income”…..

Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as possible” to mitigate the impact of coronavirus.

Minister for economic affairs Nadia Calvino told Spanish broadcaster La Sexta on Sunday night that the move was intended to help families during the pandemic.

But Ms Calvino, who is also deputy prime minister, said the government’s ambition was that UBI could become something that “stays forever, that becomes a structural instrument, a permanent instrument”.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/coronavirus-spain-universal-basic-income-europe-a9449336.html

Any thoughts?

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“lego ergo scribo”

Re-Open America Act Of 2020

Donald the Orange has been beating his chest like a sex crazed primate about the country re-opening amidst a pandemic…..he needs the economy to get moving after all an election is waiting in the wings and the economy is all Trump has these days….

Not to be outdone by the Trumpian sycophants…the Dems have come up with their on plan to re-open the nation….they call it the “Re-open America Act Of 2020″……

The RAA rests on the idea that two public health conditions must be met for America to reopen safely and durably: 1) social distancing must have lowered infection rates sufficiently to allow hospitals to properly care for the infected population and 2) public health safeguards must be able to keep transmission rates below one.

The RAA invites states, coalitions of states, the District of Columbia, territories, and tribal governments to submit their detailed reopening plans to the HHS Secretary and upon approval, receive federal funding for the costs associated with implementing them. In evaluating whether a plan can keep infection and transmission rates low, the Secretary will be advised by an expert advisory panel and guided by scientific principles and data. Upon approval of a plan, states will receive federal funds to pay for state costs associated with a safe reopening to make sure that testing, treatment, contact tracing and other public health measures are in place.

Because the states have been laboring under conditions of supply scarcity and vicious interstate competition and bidding wars, the RAA creates a federal Health Equipment Production Board to activate industry to generate all the tests, protective equipment, ventilators, and effective treatments necessary to reopen commerce and social life in a way that puts public health first. The Board will be responsible for ensuring national and regional availability of medical supplies and equipment needed for COVID-19 response and the safe implementation of reopening plans. It will be empowered to procure and distribute supplies and equipment as needed. The Board will also assure manufacturing and distribution capacity so the government is ready and able to produce and distribute as rapidly as possible coronavirus treatments and vaccines as they become available. If necessary, the Board can invoke the authorities of the Defense Production Act.

Not to worry you can read the entire “Act”….. H.R. 6525, the Reopen America Act of 2020

The full text of the bill, H.R. 6525, can be found here.

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It Only Works For The Wealthy

We now have a new stim plan that will help (supposedly) all aspects of society……and yet I have my doubts.

You know some of the rhetoric and the actions taken during this trying time smacks a lot like the 2008 crash “solutions”…..

Seriously! It all sounds too damn familiar.  Think back to 2008…..

From December 2007 to November 10, 2011, the Federal Reserve, secretly and without the awareness of Congress, funneled $19.6 trillion in cumulative loans to bail out the trading houses on Wall Street. Just 14 global financial institutions received 83.9 percent of those loans or $16.41 trillion. (See chart above.) A number of those banks were insolvent at the time and did not, under the law, qualify for these Fed loans. Significant amounts of these loans were collateralized with junk bonds and stocks, at a time when both markets were in freefall. Under the law, the Fed is only allowed to make loans against “good” collateral.

Six of the institutions receiving massive loans from the Fed were not even U.S. banks but global foreign banks that had to be saved because they were heavily interconnected to the Wall Street banks through unregulated derivatives. If one financial institution in this daisy chain of derivatives failed, it would set off a domino effect.

The Dark Secrets in the Fed’s Last Wall Street Bailout Are Getting a Devious Makeover in Today’s Bailout

The article sounds all too familiar.  The wealthy gets the bailout and protection and the people get crumbs and lies.

The American people are now starting to think that maybe the wealthy will get the good news more so than them…..

New polling out Wednesday backdropped by the continuing coronavirus outbreak shows that most of the country believes the U.S. political system works only for the wealthy and elite rather than for working people.

In a survey of 1,002 Americans taken by The Hill/HarrisX, 57% of respondents said they believe the political system serves the interests of the wealthy and powerful versus 32% who said it works for all Americans.

Low-income Americans were more likely than people who are well-off financially to say the system works for wealthy insiders—61% to 55%. Women were 12% more likely than men, and Democratic and independent voters were more likely than Republicans to say the U.S. government is designed to serve elites.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/04/01/coronavirus-spreads-poll-shows-nearly-60-us-believe-political-system-designed-solely

Really?

Bloggers like myself have been telling the American people this very thing for, in my case 14 years, and now they see it…..better late than never, as they say.

Sad part is when all this is over those same people will return to voting for the spineless slugs that work for the corporations and wealthy…..what does that say about the voter?

More sad news waiting to happen…..

Critics slammed the Trump administration for considering “rewarding vulture capitalists profiting off a crisis.”

As desperate workers, the unemployed, and small businesses struggle to obtain benefits authorized under the multi-trillion-dollar coronavirus stimulus package President Donald Trump signed into law late last month, the White House is reportedly considering an additional slate of aid measures that critics say would disproportionately favor the wealthy while providing little relief for those most in need.

The Washington Post, citing two anonymous officials familiar with White House discussions, reported late Sunday that the Trump administration is weighing “a payroll-tax cut, a capital-gains tax cut, creating 50-year Treasury bonds to lock in low interest rates, and a waiver that would clear businesses of liability from employees who contract the coronavirus on the job.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/04/06/smash-and-grab-economics-trump-white-house-weighing-tax-cut-rich-investors-workers

Yet more help for the wealthy while us peasants struggle to pay bills and eat……but what can you expect from capitalism?

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That Virus Stimulus Plan

There has been a lot of talk about the plan for cash payments to help in this time of need…..direct payments to the citizens…..we know one thing for sure if anybody will get bailed out of this crisis it will be corporations and billionaires……bug it sounds good to say that the people are their number one priority……sorry but I kinda doubt that……

With an election on the fast track……..and PRESTO…the plan has been announced!

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday presented the third part of the legislation intended to help the economy recover from the pandemic, built around payments of $1,200 to anyone with an income up to $75,000. The amount of the payment would decline as household income neared $99,000. There would be a $500 check for every child in the family, the Hill reports. The direct payments, backed early by Sen. Mitt Romney and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are not universally popular among Senate Republicans. “Direct payments make sense when the economy is beginning to start,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday. “It makes no sense now, because it’s just money. What I want is income, not one check.” Lawmakers are still negotiating the details of the payments, though as of now, the poorest Americans would receive less, per the Washington Post, with a minimum check of $600.

Sen. Richard Shelby is among the Republicans who want to provide aid through unemployment insurance instead. “I personally think that if we are going to help people, we ought to direct the cash payments maybe as a supplement to unemployment,” he said, “not to the people that are still working every day.” President Trump has vacillated on the idea of payments to individuals, and supported a different approach Thursday on corporate bailouts. Asked about companies that have used their extra cash to buy back stock, Trump endorsed the government receiving a stake in the companies in exchange for aid. Comparing them with companies that invested the cash, Trump said, “Maybe I view that as a little bit differently than somebody that didn’t and somebody that built plants all over the United States.”

Will this abate all the panic?  I doubt it….it will however look great on a campaign ad.

Any thoughts on this?

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“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–18Oct19

How do we fight economic injustice?

Appears AOC, one of Trump’s nemeses on the Hill, has a plan….a plan that she has put into motion as a bill/law…..

Representative Ocasio-Cortez believes that we must build a just society to protect our communities and uplift our neighbors. A Just Society legislation aims to combat one of the greatest threats to our country, our democracy, and our freedom: economic inequality

A Just Society aims to ensure that we are on a path towards shared prosperity for all. A just society provides a living wage, safe working conditions, and healthcare. A just society acknowledges the value of immigrants to our communities. A just society guarantees safe, comfortable, and affordable housing. By strengthening our social and economic foundations, we are preparing ourselves to embark on the journey to save our planet by rebuilding our economy and cultivate a just society. To learn more, follow the links below.

https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/ajs

Check out her plan and then tell me your thoughts.  Please keep the lies of socialism to a minimum…..if you cannot be constructive and unbiased……. then move along.

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We Need Another Marshall Plan

I see that when posts are written about immigration there is a common thread……they come for free stuff.

I do not agree….most people would stay home if they had the possibility of earning a living for their families.

I am looking at another Marshall Plan.

The US had a big idea after WW2….in a attempt to help rebuild a devastated Europe after war…..it was called the Marshall Plan.

The Marshall Plan, also known as the European Recovery Program, was a U.S. program providing aid to Western Europe following the devastation of World War II. It was enacted in 1948 and provided more than $15 billion to help finance rebuilding efforts on the continent. The brainchild of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, for whom it was named, it was crafted as a four-year plan to reconstruct cities, industries and infrastructure heavily damaged during the war and to remove trade barriers between European neighbors – as well as foster commerce between those countries and the United States.

https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/marshall-plan-1

Since the US has been ass deep in the events in Central America for 75 years then it should fall on our shoulders to help make it right.

In his 2013 book, “The Right to Stay Home,” activist and journalist David Bacon wrote of Mexican farmers finding themselves considering the difficult and dangerous trek to El Norte, after their livelihoods were destroyed by the cheap American corn flooding their country as a result of the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Bacon posed the question of whether there should be a “right not to migrate.” Today’s situation is more complex. Migrants now predominantly come from three separate countries—El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras—and for many violence has replaced poverty as the driving force. Yet the fundamental question remains the same: What would it take to make tomorrow’s potential refugees decide staying home was a better option than giving their life savings to smugglers and risking their lives crossing deserts and rivers?

What also remains the same is deep U.S. involvement in the history of those countries—history that Central Americans know, and North Americans mostly don’t. The longest-running U.S. intervention in the region has been in Guatemala, starting with the 1954 CIA-engineered overthrow of the country’s democratically elected President Jacobo Arbenz, continuing with using the country as staging ground for the 1960 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba (putting down a local rebellion in the process), and involvement in the country’s civil wars running into the 1990’s.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/23/us-needs-marshall-plan-central-america

I believe this type of economic plan could work….but(there is always a but, right?) there is a dire need to curb the rampant corruption that these countries governments are capable of committing.

If the US truly wanted to find an answer to the problem of immigration then maybe looking for solutions and not demonizing humans would be a better approach…..this demonizing is helping NO one.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”