Showing posts with label Wall Street. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wall Street. Show all posts

Friday, March 13, 2020

It Was Stupid To Inject 1.5 Trillion Into The Stock Market

But then you fight the war you trained for. That is why Bush went into Iraq. He needed a standing army to tussle with, even though that standing army had nothing to do with 9/11.

And so they injected 1.5 trillion into the stock market. This is the financial Iraq.

The right response would be to give everyone $1,000 a month. For 300 million people that was enough money for five months, perhaps enough to tide over the worst part of the pandemic, although there is no data yet to suggest this virus will get shy during summer.

Coronavirus News (2)
Coronavirus News (1)
The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Like The Spanish Flu (1918-1922)
The Most Responsible Head Of State On The Planet

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

South China Sea: The Nine Dotted Lines

China's ridiculous claim in the South China Sea is proof it is a dictatorship. Every dictatorship needs an external enemy to survive. Saddam did not have the option to not invade Kuwait. North Korea needs to act belligerent.

South China Sea is first and foremost an ideological tussle. Free speech is sacrosanct. In thoroughly stifling free speech the Chinese Communist Party is saying it is so brittle it might not survive if the people truly started speaking their mind.

The Chinese regime needs to keep making its ridiculous claim in the South China Sea because it needs to stay in power in Beijing. It is a diversion tactic for the home audience.

The Chinese military is not as bad as the Pakistani military in that it does not think it is a parallel power center. The political leadership is supreme. But that political leadership is a monopoly situation, kind of like the too big to fail banks in America.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Warren, Wall Street, And The VP Ticket

No The world will go mad before it succumbs to climate catastrophe. You could argue The Donald is already taking the lead on the going mad part.

No Warren on the ticket and America ends up with not one but two fractured conventions. That will be like America went mad.

Sometimes I feel the Clintons think too much in terms of loyalty. Nobody is trying to be loyal to the Clintons. People are just trying to get the political work done.

You can get too good at building the political machine and end up the political IBM of the 1990s.

The people who tried and failed to draft Warren are the ones who voted for Bernie. Warren refused to be drafted in an obvious nod to Hillary. If Hillary had not been in the picture Warren would have run. And won.

That is not someone with rabble rousing intentions. That is someone with intentions to defer to Hillary's centrist instincts.

But what if Warren on the ticket gives Hillary the House? Then the center itself will have moved to the left.

About time.

The same voters who supported the Republican Party and prevented a three trillion stimulus in 2009 are complaining they are hurting and are siding with the Trump madness. Three trillion was what the best of economists wanted. A much bigger monetary stimulus was given and much of that money went to Wall Street. A three trillion financial stimulus would have gone primarily to Main Street. No, you were not misled by billionaires. You acted stupid.

Bill Clinton has a character flaw. It is that flaw that made him give in to Wall Street when Wall Street came knocking in 1998 wanting to do away with the firewall between traditional and investment banking. That snowballed into 2008.

There are media reports Bill Clinton yet again intends to cave in to Wall Street on Warren. How does this story end this time?

If Bill is going to decide on the VP, is Hillary but a Manchurian candidate? Will the real candidate please stand up?

Bill Clinton has a wonderful opportunity to play the politically gifted spouse. He is not the candidate. He is not going to be president.

The threat is if you put Warren on the ticket, we will not give you any more money. Ends up it might be a loss of 30 million dollars.

Talking just about money, that might be a loss of 30 million from Wall Street and a gain of 300 million from the grassroots. I say take the money.

The Blockchain will do to money what the Internet did to information. Too big to fail is not capitalism, it is monopoly. The market demands competition. The Wall Street firms are like the paper newspapers of 1990. They have no clue what is just round the corner. Nobody has heard of the Cisco, the Google, the Facebook, the Amazon of the Blockchain, because they have not even been incorporated yet.

This is not communism. This is not Bernie's socialism. This is technology and innovation. This is the market economy as it should be. This is common sense. This is being God loving.

You do not want to apply liquid water physics at 110 degrees. You want to do evidence based decision making. You want to take the temperature and you want to get into steam physics.

The world is at the cusp of the Age Of Abundance, made possible by technology. When the productivity gains are an unheard of 10,000%, you prepare the policy framework for a Universal Basic Income. In less than 10 years, America will have to do the sensible thing on Universal Basic Income. The Bernie/Warren crowd is not a throwback to another era. These are people who see what's around the corner.

And it is time Native Americans took over. I learned from The Donald Warren is part Native. It's about time.

The Native Americans had a much better score on the environment anyways.

Larry Ellison, the colorful founder of Oracle, was Bill Clinton's first and biggest donor in the 1992 cycle, a big move for a guy who had simply not cared about politics after Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. But after Clinton put Al Gore on the ticket, he did not give "a dime," because Gore as Senator had sided with a tech rival of his who had been "good to me." That was before Larry discovered the art of funding politicians.

"Exactly what units of goodness are we talking about here, Senator? "

I have noticed in the recent months Zimbabwe and Venezuela have both ended up with similar predicaments. The only Mugabe I know is a dictator. I am not opposed to left leaning politics or even socialism as long human rights are not violated, but Hugo Chavez has never felt particularly inspiring to me.

But the ground reality in both countries have become identical. Ordinary people are suffering. Basically there seems to be a currency collapse. Not only that the media narrative on both seems to be identical. Well respected media brands have been peddling identical stories on both countries. It is their fault.

But it feels like the mighty dollar has been used to demolish the economies of two countries whose leaders challenged the wrong powers. But the punishment has to be meted out without being seen. And hence the orchestrated media campaigns of planted stories.

This were all good and dandy except I have seen a repeat of the same on the Elizabeth Warren meme. After the first story came out suggesting some Wall Street honchos were not only unhappy about the idea of Warren as veep, which is fine, you have the democratic right to be happy or unhappy, I am happy, but that they think Hillary really does not have the option to even consider the Warren name, for they are going to turn off the money tap, as if it is not for the Democratic nominee to decide who her running mate is going to be. For one that suggestion is grossly sexist.

Elizabeth Warren is no Robert Mugabe. Elizabeth Warren is no Hugo Chavez. I am absolutely clear on that.

And stop punishing the people of Zimbabwe and Venezuela. Don't blame the people for their leaders.

The Devil is capable of infiltrating institutions of law enforcement. The Devil is capable of infiltrating Wall Street institutions. You have to watch out.

Wall Street honchos should stoop down and do the citizen thing. If you don't like Hillary don't vote for Hillary. If you don't like Hillary don't make campaign contributions to her. But don't suggest the power to pick her running mate rests with anyone except her.

I am looking for a press release, frankly. Put your name down. We the here signed finance geniuses think Warren would be disastrous for the American economy for the following reasons.

And let the debate begin.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Dodd And Frank

There is a guy named Dodd and there is a guy named Frank, and that is as much as I know about Dodd and Frank. As for the banks, Dodd and Frank were supposed to ring in some discipline. The question naturally arises, did it happen? Is there discipline? Or is there indiscipline? What about indigestion? Hiccups?

Friday, February 05, 2016

Six Fall Guys

  1. A black guy.
  2. A Hispanic.
  3. An Indian. Two Indians, one a diplomat. 
  4. A Chinese. 
  5. A Sri Lankan. 
  6. A Jewish guy. 
In the aftermath of the Great Recession I noticed there were six most visible fall guys. When democracy and the market are at their best, I believe that does not leave room for racism. Europeans have numerous schisms. But when those same Europeans gather in America, a white identity gets formed. Perhaps the Chinese identity is a similar melting pot identity formed over a few thousand years. It has always amazed me how a billion people can be a single ethnicity. 

When Wall Street wiped out 13 trillion in wealth, there were six fall guys, the most visible ones. 

Corruption in a city like New York where there is so much power and money concentrated in one small place is like speeding on the interstate highway. You can police it, you can get people to pay fines, but you can't perhaps eliminate it. You are essentially dealing with human nature. Greed has a tendency to creep in. 

One way to look at it is, after about 70 years banks accumulate so much in bad loans, those bad loans need to be wiped out, the slate needs to get clean. So it was not bad behavior. It was just the slate getting cleaned for a fresh start. 

But then there are other complaints. America built infrastructure in Europe, and then it stopped. Why stop? Why not go on to build infrastructure in Africa? Asia? Latin America? That was racism. A country choosing to destroy or park trillions while there is such unmet need in terms of infrastructure, credit, and clean energy is racism. 

The six fall guys point at that racism that impact billions of people. 

Also, there needs to be a less painful way to wipe out bad loans. An economy should be able to wipe out bad loans without bringing itself to the knees. Maybe this should be the last Great Recession. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

India: Is The Private Sector Being A Drag?

Share of financial sector in gross domestic pr...
Share of financial sector in gross domestic product 1860 to 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
मोदी तो अपना काम कर रहे हैं। ढेर सारा FDI देश में ला रहे हैं। Infrastructure का काम तेजी से हो रहा है। प्राइवेट सेक्टर को क्या चाहिए?
  • Simplified Land Acquisition बहुत जरुरी है। 
  • Hiring and Firing should be a simple process. Entrepreneurship is not a government job scheme. 
  • FDI चाहिए और बहुत चाहिए। 
  • भारत के financial markets में तो कोइ त्रुटि नहीं? मेरेको उतना knowledge नहीं। मैं सिर्फ पुछ रहा हुँ। 
  • You need a well educated and healthy population. वो प्राइवेट सेक्टर की जिम्मेवारी नहीं। 
तो लैंड acquisition के बात पर तो विपक्ष वाले टांग अड़ाए हुवे हैं। उसी तरह labor mobility पर भी तो। उसके अलावे मेरी instincts कह रही है कुछ fundamental financial sector reforms की जरुरत हो सकती है। Bad loans are a bad idea. Corrupt governments tend to accumulate a lot of them. Big banks with lots and lots of bad loans accumulated through crony capitalism tend to be a major drag on the economy overall. The policy framework should encourage the create of small, agile, numerous financial institutions. Maybe there are banks that are too big and should be broken up into smaller pieces through policy initiatives. Market competitiveness has to be maintained in the financial sector, and that is the government's responsibility. 

But I have been impressed with people like Adani and Ambani being able to tap into the global financial markets for some pretty large scale cheap loans. Bond markets में आप को ५% पर बिलियन के बिलियन डॉलर मिल जाते हैं। वो तो सस्ता हुवा। And unless you have a healthy company you can't get those loans. So they must be maintaining strong fundamentals inside their corporate environments. 

और कुछ फैक्टर्स हैं जो काबु के बाहर होते हैं ------ जैसे कि oil prices या फिर मॉनसून।

Bankruptcy laws भी कैसे हैं? It should be easy to launch companies, it should be easy to run companies, and it should be easy to bury companies. कि मैंने प्रयास किया लेकिन नहीं हुवा। When your company goes bankrupt, after that you don't owe anyone anything. And that is fundamental to capitalism. The number one aspect of the Silicon Valley culture is that there failure is celebrated.

Private sector को किस किस्मका policy reforms चाहिए ओ तो private sector को आगे आ के कहना होगा। किस किस्मका policy framework चाहिए। Entrepreneurs create jobs, they should be part of the policy making conversation. They should have a seat at the table. They should not have the only seat at the table. But their not having a seat at the table also is a problem.

Why Economists See PM Modi's Second Year as More Challenging
Domestic companies have posted disappointing earnings for the March quarter that does not match the upbeat headline GDP figure. Industrial production is at five-month low, exports are declining for five months in a row and bank credit offtake remains at two-decade lows.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Kamala Harris Would Be A Great Running Mate

English: San Francisco District Attorney Kamal...
English: San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris speaking at an event (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Having a woman president is historic, but not quite enough. I think it is time for a two women ticket. And Kamala Harris would bring California on board. A New York - California ticket would be great for the progressive cause.

Harris is running to be Senator. That makes her federal!

There will also be a generation balance. Also a cultural balance. Hillary is not minority female, only female.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Family, Internet, New York City

English: Saraswoti temple at Budhanilkantha School
English: Saraswoti temple at Budhanilkantha School (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The 74th Street portion in Jackson Heights is the most famous Indian strip in all of North America. But then Wall Street - the world famous Wall Street - is not all that impressive either. It is but a pavement. It is not even a proper street.

I am an Indian who grew up in Nepal. I identify with the Tamils in Sri Lanka, the Hindu minorities in Bangladesh and Pakistan. I identify with the blacks in America because I grew up Indian in Nepal. That sums it up nice.

The DaMaJaMa equation in Nepal’s context can be seen in the head count of Nepalis in New York City. The smallest population is that of the Dalits. Madhesis are the second smallest group. Janajatis are sizeable, but they are dwarfed by even the Bahun Chhetri women. Bahun Chhetry men swarm the city’s Nepali holdings. You can’t say you will hold your breath until there is proportionate representation. At a micro level you reach out to people based on basic decency, courtesy, good behavior, bonhomie. It is not political. But then during the course of things you also pick up hate speech against Madhesis which is not a call to arms locally - you are not going to pick political fights with Indians a shouting distance from 74th Street - but rather a suggestion the fight is not over yet in Nepal.

I have little time for politics anymore, if any. But if I had, I would purchase a few phone cards, and start dialing up the leading Madhesi politicians in Nepal, most of whom I know. But instead I send out blog posts here and now. They pick it up in their Facebook inboxes.

When Ratan Jha launched ANTA years ago, I was the only Madhesi he knew in NYC. He reached out to me offering to make me Vice President. I said I can not be part of an organization that is non political. It gets in the way of the hard core political work I am doing. But I will help launch it in the city, which I did. That is why I don’t see me seeking any officer position with the NRNA, not now, not five years from now, not 10 years from now. If I had time, I’d instead express interest in the US presidential politics, or the city’s mayoral politics. But then we all watch the sports of our choice. My sport of choice right now is Indian politics. I watch it closely. I need it.

Budhanilkantha School died for me towards the end of my Class 10 year through an administrative decision people who ran the place took. The Bahuns and the British who ran the place ganged up on me and destroyed the final three and a half years of my high school years. And I was a star student, not only academically, but also because I had given the best year to my house Kanchenjunga as House Captain that any house captain ever in that school’s history had given to any house to date. Precisely because I was a star student they came after me.

Berea College died for me early in my term as student body president there. I got myself elected to the office as a freshman, a school record, within six months of landing as an international student. An administrative decision by the Student Life Department killed that college for me that I tried so hard to get into.

Becoming Barack Obama’s first full time volunteer in NYC was me getting even. But that also asked for its own price, the steepest price I have paid in life to date.

The Nepali identify is being formed as we speak. I have never been a Nepali before. But I might become some day, if the country gets a constitution fair to the DaMaJaMa, if the state is restructured right. In that I don’t have a country right now. But I sure would like to contribute to the creation of that fair Nepali identity. If Charlie Rangel would not have messed up, and if I had been able to give total attention, Nepal would have had its constitution through the first Constituent Assembly itself.

I have my family that I love. I have the Internet. And I have New York City. The institution I most identify with right now is the company I am working to create. I worked full time for Nepal’s democracy in 2005-06. Then I worked full time for the Madhesi Movement. Now my total focus is on Nepal’s economic development. The only Nepali interactions I am truly interested in are business deals I can cut. I have a super network in Kathmandu. I can get all the hydro projects I want, no sweat. But I will get serious on that count later. Right now I am focused on software, especially on the augmented reality mobile game my team is working on. I am also about to do some fundraising for other people’s biotech startups.

The best way for a NYC Nepali to interact with me right now is to angel invest in some of my endeavors. Do it or miss the boat and regret in a few short years.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Elizabeth Warren And 2016

An interesting article popped up in New Republic last week. It basically says Senator Elizabeth Warren might upend Hillary Clinton for the 2016 race. It is convincing. But the big question for me with Elizabeth Warren, as with Hillary Clinton, is: will she even run? Some argue she does not know much foreign policy. You could have said the same thing about Bill Clinton in 1991.

A heartwarming theme in the talk for me is that looks like the top two contenders for 2016 are both women. After a black president it is time America got itself a woman president.

New Republic: Hillary's Nightmare? A Democratic Party That Realizes Its Soul Lies With Elizabeth Warren
Think of the Republican Party after George W. Bush. Or, you know, Yugoslavia. ..... any candidate who challenged Clinton would need several key assets. The candidate would almost certainly have to be a woman, given Democrats’ desire to make history again. She would have to amass huge piles of money with relatively little effort. Above all, she would have to awaken in Democratic voters an almost evangelical passion. As it happens, there is precisely such a person. Her name is Elizabeth Warren. ..... Treasury officials joked that if she were “Ambassador to the Middle Class,” it would make them “Ambassadors to the Plutocrats.” ..... During her Senate campaign, Warren traveled with at least three staffers: Her body man and press secretary, as is the case for most candidates, but also a digital director, whose job it was to capture Warren’s choicest words on video, then upload the clips to YouTube and circulate them via social media. “She’s engaged in videos, e-mails, everything,” says an aide. “She plays an integral role in the content we send out.” ..... Warren has been preoccupied with the plight of the middle class since her childhood, when her father suffered a heart attack and her mother took a job in the catalog department of Sears to keep four kids clothed and fed. “I watched Obama get completely obsessed by health care reform . . . and realized it was all about his mother on her death bed,” says a longtime Warren friend. “For her, it was her father.” .....

“My first choice is a strong consumer agency. My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.”

..... the banking industry and its Republican allies (as well as internal opponents like Geithner) didn’t fully appreciate when they effectively killed Warren’s hopes of permanently heading the consumer agency in 2011. ..... It’s hard to look at the Democratic Party these days and not feel as if all the energy is behind Warren. Before she was even elected, her fund-raising e-mails would net the party more cash than any Democrat’s besides Obama or Hillary Clinton. ....... From the Howard Dean campaign in 2004 to the Occupy Movement in 2011, the last decade in Democratic politics has been rife with heady declarations of grassroots rebellion, only to see the insiders assert control each time. Even the one insurgency that did succeed, the Obama campaign, was quickly absorbed into the party establishment, from which Obama was never so far removed in the first place. ..... the disillusionment surrounding Dodd-Frank, which ushered in a range of new regulations but left the details to regulators, who promptly caved. ..... government per se isn’t the problem; the problem is a government taken over by “big-money interests.” ..... “I think it’s mutually exclusive to be a real hero for reform and accountability and to have a [fund-raising] strategy that relies on Wall Street.” A financial reform activist is more blunt: “Unless there is some major public break by Hillary Clinton with this disreputable crowd, then everybody will have to think long and hard before they support her as president. We do not need yet another administration packed full of Wall Street–friendly politicians.” ....... When I recently asked a top Clinton campaign operative from 2008 if there’s any Democrat who Hillary should fear in 2016, he immediately named the Massachusetts senator. ..... “I don’t think there’s anyone out there who can break out of just that left coalition like Warren could,” says the operative, who hopes to work for Hillary again. “She’s got a real message tailored to the middle-class and working-class people.” ..... “But in Obamaworld, there is not deep loyalty to Hillary Clinton.” ..... With Obama, it was all about hope and change. With Warren, it would be about a distinct worldview. But as different as their sources of appeal are, both allow donors to feel as if they’re part of a larger crusade. By contrast, the long-standing knock on the Clintons in these circles (unfair in many ways) is that they primarily represent the cause of themselves. ....... Clinton, on the other hand, would probably embrace a two-pronged strategy. First, she would move left on as many issues as possible. Since leaving the State Department, she has already staked out liberal ground on gay rights and voting rights, and she recently used the word “progressive” so many times in a single speech it was tempting to describe her condition as “severe.” ...... Phase two would be to attack ruthlessly, casting Warren as an untested novice with little expertise outside financial issues. Unlike Obama, who at least had Iraq and a tour on the Foreign Relations Committee to neutralize charges of naïveté, Warren would be exceedingly vulnerable. ..... would quietly work to disqualify Warren as a crazed, countercultural liberal. A former Obama campaign aide recalls Clintonites planting stories in foreign newspapers, then watching them enter the domestic bloodstream through outlets like The Drudge Report. ..... Warren has been boning up on a variety of policy areas in periodic dinners with experts—she told me there are several issues beyond Wall Street “we need to have frank conversations” about without naming specifics—she remains a work in progress as a politician. She is still pedestrian in front of a crowd despite her strengths as a questioner and debater ..... If Clinton took a pass, on the other hand, many believe Warren would be difficult to beat, and the pressure to run could be irresistible. .... While her ambitions are considerable, they have always been focused on advancing her economic agenda. Everything from her public denunciations of Clinton to her lobbying to lead the CFBP to her eventual Senate run was motivated by a zealous attachment to the cause that has preoccupied her since childhood, not necessarily an interest in holding office. ..... An opponent who doesn’t heed political incentives is like a militant who doesn’t fear death. “Yeah, Hillary is running. And she’ll probably win,” says the former aide. “But Elizabeth doesn’t care about winning. She doesn’t care whose turn it is.”

Elizabeth Warren Can Shape the 2016 Race Even if She Can't Beat Hillary: The liberal icon and the future of the Democratic Party
The New Yorker: Clinton Vs. Warren?
Daily News: Democrats quietly throwing presidential support behind Elizabeth Warren: report

2008 is proof Hillary can be beat. Barack Obama also was a first term Senator. Fundraising has gone decidedly grassroots. In this age of social media it helps when your videos go as viral as Elizabeth Warren's YouTube videos tend to. That is how I first got introduced to her. And I remember getting excited.

Barack Obama was a Deaniac in 2004 like I was. And in many ways I saw Obama 2008 as a successor to Dean 2004. But in terms of meatier progressivism, Elizabeth Warren might be the true heir.

Both belong to the same generation and are over a decade older than Obama. Only someone like Bobby Jindal would be a generation changer. But he is not being talked about much.

One sign Obama might run was he was the most sought person by Democrats across America during the 2006 congressional elections. He was giving speeches all over the country. It is to be watched if Warren will emerge that person next year and how welcoming she is of the prospect.

The message for Warren might be: Lean In.

But then you have Angela Merkel in Germany. She has been a strong leader, looking very normal at the top. And you have had woman after woman become head of state in South Asia, one of the most sexist parts of the planet.

She has been a Harvard Law professor. That means to me she is a good student. She is an informed person. I can’t imagine she has not been reading up on all sorts of policy issues over the years and over the decades. I can’t imagine her not having a deep knowledge of history. Her sound bites make her look a little one dimensional on policy, but that is because her jobs so far have been specific. If you sit on the banking committee, you are not going to mouth off on Syria, are you? And word is she regularly meets up with experts on a wide variety of topics. People less smart than Warren have called the shots in the Oval Office before.

Whoever runs and wins in 2016, I for one want a two woman team. If Warren is the person, I would want her to team up with someone like Kamala Harris of California. President Obama got into a little bit of trouble for calling Harris “the most good looking Attorney General in America.” I don’t see how that comment is sexist. I am putting all men Attorneys General on that list as well. Show me some pictures if you dispute.

There is also the no small matter of geographic balance. A northeast liberal needs a Left Coast person to team up with.

For me 2014 is going to be the year when I pay close attention to the national elections in India, so easy to do in the age of the Internet. We will soon have the results for Nepal. Then there are the congressional elections in America. And 2016 is not that far. I guess I watch elections like some people watch sports. My sports event to watch would be the World Cup Soccer.

That puts someone like Warren in the same league with the likes of Ronaldo and Ronaldinho.

And a Warren or a Hillary at the helm makes Angela Merkel look even more normal than she already does. Maybe there is even a Sheryl Sandberg presidency in the offing down the line. Meg Whitman of eBay fame did run for Governor.

My political instincts tell me Warren right now is leading the 2016 race.

The economic is central to all other issues, and there she is the one with a compass. Indira Gandhi won wars. A democracy is designed to give the command of the army to whoever the people choose to elect. It is not at all hard to imagine a woman Commander In Chief. A woman sitting on top of the machinery will call the shots as necessary.

It is unfair to Hillary’s considerable talents that the Clinton brand name can work against her as much as for her. There is some Clinton fatigue in the public imagination. Whereas Warren is a fresh face. It is still hard to unearth too many of her life’s details online at this point. That is a political plus.

The old saying goes, a week is a long time in politics. 2016 is still a while away. Warren was not even mentioned as a presidential candidate two years ago. Which means more names might crop up in two years. Never say never. But right now Warren is looking good and strong.

Elizabeth Warren: Not Ready for Presidential Prime Time
Gutsy, smart, and hyper-articulate, Elizabeth Warren is quickly becoming the voice of progressivism in Washington. Along with departing regulator Gary Gensler, Warren probably did more than anyone in Washington to bulk up Dodd-Frank from its rather flimsy beginnings and turn it into a financial-reform law with some weight. She also speaks out eloquently for the beleaguered middle class and on the deeper problem of income inequality. ....... she is basically a one-issue political figure. And that doesn't get you into the White House in this era. (OK, fine, Barack Obama first came to national attention by declaring Iraq a "dumb" war, but more on that later.) ..... A Harvard Law professor who became an expert in mortgage fraud and bankruptcy and later conceived of one of Dodd-Frank's most significant reforms, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she's never done much of anything else in public life, other than chair the TARP oversight committee. And her "issue" has faded in popular imagination. ....... Yes, the banks are huger than ever and over-the-counter derivatives are being traded again in the hundreds of trillions—one reason why Gensler, the outgoing head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, may be one of the great unsung heroes in Washington thanks to his lonely fight to regulate derivatives internationally. But only a handful of people in the entire world truly understand derivatives regulation. "Bash the Bankers" works as a slogan, but when you get down to what really must be done about them you would have to talk about capital and liquidity ratios on the stump. ....... The last two Democratic presidents both had populist inclinations but went straight to the center in order to win two terms. For both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, that apparently also meant going easy on Wall Street. And Bill Clinton, at least, later publicly expressed regret for permitting the Alan Greenspanization of his views on financial reform.
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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Year Two: Campaign Finance Reform

Biden Hints at 2016 Presidential Bid
Mr. Biden, who cast his ballot Tuesday after waiting in line to vote in his home state of Delaware shortly after 7 a.m., was asked if this was the last time he’ll vote for himself. The vice president grinned. “No, I don’t think so,” he said. ..... If he got into the race it would be his third presidential campaign. He’s made two unsuccessful bids in the past, including in 2008.
Bobby Jindal for president in 2016? The early line
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is barred by law from seeking a third consecutive term when his current term ends in 2015. ..... The young and wonky governor of Louisiana coasted to a second term last year, and 2016 might finally mark a good opportunity for Jindal to take a run at higher office. Jindal has been viewed as an up-and-coming star in the party since he won the governorship in 2007. He will serve as chairman of the Republican Governors Association next year. Jindal didn't shy away from raising his national profile this cycle, stumping for Romney and heading to Iowa to back Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the Republican primary. Jindal returned to Iowa this fall, traveling the state with former Sen. Rick Santorum in a campaign to oust a state Supreme Court judge who has supported same-sex marriage.
Wall Street left to rebuild Obama ties after backing Romney
given that Obama won and that financial reform is popular among Americans, many on Wall Street acknowledge that there's only so much they can do. ...... Wall Street was so confident in Romney's chances that the Financial Services Roundtable, a leading industry group in Washington, recently named as its head Tim Pawlenty, a Romney campaign co-manager who has little financial firm experience and few ties to Washington policymakers. ..... A 2010 Gallup poll showed that Dodd-Frank was Obama's most popular law, exceeding healthcare reform ...... Among the financial industry's top complaints is the Volcker rule, which prevents banks from making big bets in financial markets with their own money. ..... Warren was instrumental in creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which banks were hoping to weaken. Gaining political support for such a move now seems unlikely
Nor'easter bears down on New York City, complicating Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts
Thousands of people in low-lying neighborhoods staggered by the superstorm just over a week ago were warned to clear out, with authorities saying rain, wet snow and 60 mph gusts in the evening could bring more flooding .... a Nor'Easter storm that could potentially re-flood areas devastated by Superstorm Sandy..... A nor'easter blustered into New York and New Jersey on Wednesday, threatening to swamp homes all over again, plunge neighborhoods back into darkness and inflict more misery on tens of thousands of people still reeling from Superstorm Sandy. ..... and erase some of the hard-won progress made in restoring electricity to millions of customers. ..... "I am waiting for the locusts and pestilence next," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said. "We may take a setback in the next 24 hours." ..... Drivers were advised to stay off the road after 5 p.m. ..... By early afternoon, the storm was bringing rain and wet snow to New York, New Jersey and the Philadelphia area. A couple of inches of snow were possible in New York City..... "It's like a sequel to a horror movie." .... "Here we are, nine days later — freezing, no electricity, no nothing, waiting for another storm" ...... The storm was a few hundred miles off New Jersey on Wednesday morning and was expected to remain offshore as it traveled to the northeast, passing near Cape Cod. Forecasters said there would be moderate coastal flooding, with storm surges of about 3 feet possible Wednesday into Thursday — far less than the 8 to 14 feet Sandy hurled at the region. ..... Ahead of the nor'easter, an estimated 270,000 homes and businesses in New York state and around 370,000 in New Jersey were still without electricity.
Athens ablaze as protesters try to storm parliament
Imran Khan favours resolving Kashmir row through dialogue
building more trust and strengthening cricketing and trade ties to repair relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. There was also praise for Jawaharlal Nehru and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. ..... "We had nothing to do with 9/11, there was no Al-Qaida and Taliban in Pakistan," he said while blaming the Pervez Musharraf regime for turning Pakistan into the epicenter of the "war against terror" and promised a new approach that will seek to get the tribal population on board. "The key to winning the war... is winning the people in the tribal areas," he said. ...... he said it would depend on China, "Pakistan's all-weather friend", to build infrastructure, a statement that will raise fresh concerns in India over its northern and western neighbours joining hands.
Imran Khan-led party goes down in popularity: Survey
The survey shows that the PML-N is currently the single most popular party in the country. ..... 28 per cent of the respondents agreed to vote for PML-N, closely followed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf at 24 per cent. ..... The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) took the third spot with 14 per cent votes whereas Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) polled 3 per cent. .... 91 per cent of the people believed that Pakistan was heading in the wrong direction. .... Respondents termed electricity and inflation to be the two most important issues being faced by Pakistan.
Boehner opens door to ‘new revenue,’ to curb debt
Republicans are “willing to accept new revenue” to tame the soaring national debt and avert an ugly battle over the approaching “fiscal cliff.” ...... Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday’s election amounted to a plea from voters for the parties to lay down their weapons of the past two years and “do what’s best for our country.” ..... In phone calls made overnight and this morning from Chicago, Obama said much the same thing to Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). ...... the party is open to “increased revenue . . . as the byproduct of a growing economy, energized by a simpler, cleaner, fairer tax code, with fewer loopholes, and lower rates for all.” ..... Obama and other Democrats have long insisted that the George W. Bush-era tax cuts should be permitted to expire for the nation’s top earners, raising the top rate to 39.6 percent. ..... Boehner said Democrats must not “continue to duck the matter of entitlements,” referring to the rising cost of Social Security and federal health programs, which he called “the root of the problem.” ..... “What we can do is avert the cliff in a manner that serves as a downpayment on — and a catalyst for — major solutions, enacted in 2013, that begin to solve the problem.” ....... Obama is proposing about $1.5 trillion in new tax revenue over a decade, largely by raising rates to 39.6 percent for wealthy Americans and eliminating tax deductions and loopholes. ...... Obama won large majorities among black, Hispanic, Asian and multiracial voters; Romney easily carried the white vote. Obama’s haul among Hispanics — a key and expanding demographic -- was overwhelming ..... Romney won among Protestants; the president found majorities among Catholics, Jews and members of other faiths. Men sided more with Romney; women solidly favored Obama.
Gridlock as usual or new era of compromise? Washington stares down 'fiscal cliff' crisis after election
a policy threat that some economists say could trigger another recession if left un-addressed...... House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday night there is "no mandate for raising taxes." He told Fox News earlier that Obama "knows we're not going to raise taxes on American small businesses. He knows it." Boehner predicted a "real brawl" if the president doubles down on that..... 60 percent of voters said they thought taxes should increase for everyone or for just top earners...... “By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin” ...... Obama also could be setting himself up for tough battles with a divided Congress on some issues, including immigration reform and climate change ...... Some have suggested that the Democrats may just let the current tax rates expire in order to be in a better bargaining position come January

Dick Morris explains -- why I was wrong about the 2012 election
The key reason for my bum prediction is that I mistakenly believed that the 2008 surge in black, Latino, and young voter turnout would recede in 2012 to “normal” levels. Didn’t happen. These high levels of minority and young voter participation are here to stay. And, with them, a permanent reshaping of our nation’s politics........ In 2012, 13% of the vote was cast by blacks. In 04, it was 11%. This year, 10% was Latino. In ’04 it was 8%. This time, 19% was cast by voters under 30 years of age. In ’04 it was 17%. Taken together, these results swelled the ranks of Obama’s three-tiered base by five to six points, accounting fully for his victory........ Sandy, in retrospect, stopped Romney’s post-debate momentum. She was, indeed, the October Surprise. ..... the Republican tilt toward white middle aged and older voters is ghettoizing the party so that even bad economic times are not enough to sway the election..... Blacks cast 13% of the vote and Obama won them 12-1. Latinos cast 10% and Obama carried them by 7-3. Under 30 voters cast 19% of the vote and Obama swept them by 12-7. Single white women cast 18% of the total vote and Obama won them by 12-6. There is some overlap among these groups, of course, but without allowing for any, Obama won 43-17 before the first married white woman or man over 30 cast their vote

After Romney loss, GOP soul searching begins
Mitt Romney's loss on Tuesday laid bare a Republican demographic problem that, if not addressed, could transform the GOP into a permanent minority party. .... white voters, who made up 72 percent of the electorate ... In 1988, they were 85 percent of all voters. By the year 2000, that was down to 81 percent. It's fallen nine more points since them. .... Latinos accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase between 2000 and 2010 .... The black and Asian vote, which also broke overwhelmingly for the president, is also growing. Blacks were 13 percent of the electorate this year, up from 10 percent in 1988; Asians have risen from one percent of the electorate to three percent over the past two decades. ..... red states like Arizona and even Texas are on a path to become battlegrounds themselves. ..... "For the first time in American history, the Latino vote can plausibly claim to be nationally decisive." ...... Voters under 30 supported the president 60 percent to 37 percent, and voters between 30 and 44 years old backed Mr. Obama by seven percentage points. ..... young women, who overwhelmingly backed the president .... Fifty-nine percent of voters in the exit poll said abortion should be legal
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First Year: Immigration Reform

On par with health care reform and Wall Street reform. It has to happen in 2013.

This is important.

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