The Return of Black George Bush

You know what? No.  This is worse, far worse.  This is the collusion of the forces of evil.  A congealed mass of buddy-buddy government malfeasance.  This is U. S. Grant shit. The kind of fully networked and mass combined evil the likes of which brings down not just government coalitions, but whole nations of people.

…by imposing new capital charges that will create barriers to entry for new firms, especially in swaps and other derivatives, while at the same time permitting giant bank holding companies to continue controlling most of what they were before, “we’ve consolidated the position of the five banks that were most central to the crisis,” the former Treasury official says—in other words: J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, along with, currently, Wells Fargo. “In my mind,” he says, “they’ve created six new GSEs,” or government-sponsored entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Financial reform without carving up the biggest banks, bringing all trading into the light of day and completely stonewalling future taxpayer bailouts is completely veto-able.  A good president would have sent it back.  A strong president would have castigated congress for their short-sightedness and do-nothing-ism.

This isn’t Black George Bush.  This is utterly incompetent and opportunistic Barack Obama (D-IL/USA)

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Journalism In A Post-Reading World

Voice is a powerful presence in news media. It can be pedantic and lecturing, informative and scholarly or any other number of culturally relevant variants that reflect the national dialogue.  In a post-reading world, where information is auditory and sensory – rather than slow and thoughtful (think: printed) – the voice of journalism has become a juxtaposition of the court jester and paper hawker.

So, with that introduction, here’s Matt Taibbi on the Financial Reform legislation:

In a heartwarming demonstration of the Senate’s truly bipartisan support for Wall Street, Sen. Sam Brownback – a Republican from Kansas – stepped in to help Democrats kill one of the bill’s most vital reforms. At the last minute, Brownback mysteriously withdrew his amendment to exempt auto dealers from regulation by the CFPB – a maneuver that prevented the Merkley-Levin ban on speculative trading, which was attached to Brownback’s amendment, from even being voted on. That was good news for car buyers, but bad news for the global economy. Senators may enjoy scolding Goldman Sachs in public hearings, but when it comes time to vote, they’ll pick Wall Street over Detroit every time.

On the plus side, the bill will rein in some forms of predatory lending, and contains a historic decision to audit the Fed. But the larger, more important stuff – breaking up banks that grow Too Big to Fail, requiring financial giants to pay upfront for their own bailouts, forcing the derivatives market into the light of day – probably won’t happen in any meaningful way,

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