Senate Democrats Wrestle with Lame Duck Session Options

By: Monday June 11, 2012 6:55 am

Do Democrats have a plan for dealing with the fiscal “cliff”?  Based on interviews I conducted at Netroots Nation with four members of the Senate Democratic caucus — Senators Sheldon Whitehouse, Ben Cardin, Jeff Merkley and Sherrod Brown –  it seems they have far more than one. The end-of-the-year fiscal measures, totaling up to $7 [...]

Commerce Department Slaps Large Tariff on Chinese Solar Panels

By: Friday May 18, 2012 6:23 am

Neoliberals and conservatives will get to trot out their favorite phrase, “trade war.” And to be sure, there’s a jobs vs. environment question to be asked about this latest move by the Obama Administration. But the Commerce Department has moved ahead with slapping high tariffs on Chinese solar panels: The United States on Thursday announced [...]

Brown Reintroduces Safe Banking Act

By: Wednesday May 9, 2012 1:37 pm

The big protest today in North Carolina had nothing to do with marriage equality. It was against Bank of America. While the issue of civil rights is incredibly important, so too is the issue of a runaway financial sector controlling the US economy and running it into the ground. And it tends to get Americans [...]

Senate Passes Transportation Bill

By: Wednesday March 14, 2012 12:55 pm

The Senate completed work on a two-year surface transportation bill, which costs $109 billion and will provide clarity to local infrastructure projects. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, extolled the measure, passed on a bipartisan vote of 74 to 22, as “a jobs bill in the true sense of the word.” “I hope [...]

Whistleblower Lawsuits Against Banks Extinguished in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

By: Sunday March 11, 2012 11:47 am

I think my disgust over federal housing policy is just about complete. As you know, we’re still waiting for the actual terms of the foreclosure fraud settlement, more than one month after the announcement. But more information has dribbled out, not much of it to the good. Michael Hiltzik rounded up some of the more [...]

Protesters Demonstrating in Front of Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Meeting in Chicago

By: Monday January 23, 2012 10:52 am

Protesters have gathered outside a meeting taking place in Chicago today between officials with the Obama Administration and some state Attorneys General or members of their staff, aimed at reaching agreement on a low-ball settlement with leading banks over foreclosure fraud.  The proposed settlement would give homeowners a pittance in exchange for a broad release [...]

Simon Johnson on the Proposed Foreclosure Fraud Settlement: “This is a law enforcement issue.”

By: Monday January 23, 2012 7:00 am

Chatter increased over the weekend on a long-awaited foreclosure fraud deal between top banks and state and federal regulators, led by the Justice Department and HUD. Yves Smith provides additional details today, including a Constitutional issue over servicers providing modifications on investor-owned mortgages without their consent, a violation of the takings clause of the 5th [...]

Sherrod Brown: Banks Shouldn’t Be Able to Pay Foreclosure Fraud Settlement With Investor Money

By: Thursday January 19, 2012 11:06 am

I brought up one of my chief problems with the possible foreclosure fraud settlement, the fact that AGs have already tried a settlement that mandated banks to deliver loan modifications to borrowers, and they flat-out didn’t do it. But Sen. Sherrod Brown offers up another problem. It turns out that, under the settlement, the banks [...]

Report on China’s Economic Practices Ten Years After WTO Inclusion Shows Need for Changes

By: Tuesday December 13, 2011 12:55 pm

Ten years ago, China joined the World Trade Organization, promising to reform and liberalize its command economy. Ten years later, very little has changed. The U.S. says that China has intensified state intervention in its economy despite reform commitments it made on joining the World Trade Organization 10 years ago. The office of the U.S. [...]

Dem Senators Raise Issue of Backdoor BofA Bailout

By: Thursday October 27, 2011 10:20 am

Ten Democratic Senators, led by Sherrod Brown (D-OH), have written to financial regulators expressing their opposition to the recent move of Bank of America derivative exposure from Merrill Lynch to their federally insured subsidiary. By putting the derivatives under the FDIC, this puts taxpayers on the hook for potentially massive losses (the notional value of [...]

Sherrod Brown Pressures Boehner in His Hometown on Chinese Currency Bill

By: Tuesday October 18, 2011 8:55 am

John Boehner has declared the China currency bill, which passed the Senate with rare bipartisan support and 63 votes, “dead on arrival” in the House. Apparently the interests of multinational corporations to keep their labor costs low trumps the interests of out-of-work Americans. This House Speaker knows where his bread is buttered. Just to bring [...]

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