As is so often the case today, bad news is good news. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) had a terrible loss when an important provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform was weakened over her very vocal objections, slipped into the critical budget deal when no one was supposed to be looking. But if you read the press, it was good for her because it increased her stature at a time when calls for her to run for President are only getting louder.
There are now two prominent calls for her to run, one by MoveOn and another independent one pushed by a group of major Obama backers. A true hero usually heeds the third call. The way the press is writing her story, that’s about to come. What does it all mean?
“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
– Henry Ford
In case you were wondering what the cost is of “Too Big to Fail” banks, the Federal Reserve has an answer – $440 million (about $4 for every household in the US). If that seems low, well, it is. It’s just what it costs to have “enhanced regulation” of those banks that have been declared “systemic” – legalese for protected by you and I.
Where did that number come from? It comes at the end of a long, watered-down process that has finally defined just what it means to be one of the protected investment banks. It’s all the result of Dodd-Frank regulation that does more harm than good if this is all they can manage. But perhaps we can make a bit more out of it …
The first presidential debate went over a lot of topics – taxes, Medicare, budgets – that were very much worth spending a lot of time on. But one of the things that came up far more than I ever thought possible was the Dodd-Frank Act, aka the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Mitt Romney called it “the biggest kiss to New York banks I’ve ever seen.” He went on at some length about it, too, claiming “We need to get rid of that provision because it’s killing regional and small banks.”
Some of you know far more about this than I do, but this absolutely shocked me. Dodd-Frank is really a non-issue, a half-step where a bold march forward is called for. About half the world thinks it went too far and half thinks it didn’t go far enough, meaning it’s a rough compromise. And, in practice, it doesn’t seem to have really changed very much.
How did this come up as an issue? Dunno. But I’m asking all of you to correct me if I have this wrong.