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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 15, 2010 / 1 Iyar 5770

GOP Should Push Tough Regulation of Wall Street

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's not hard to predict how the coming fight over financial regulation legislation will be framed by most of the mainstream media. Democrats like Christopher Dodd, the sponsor of the pending Senate bill, will be portrayed as cracking down on greedy Wall Street operators. Republicans will be portrayed as letting Wall Street operators have their way.

That might be a fair characterization if Republicans concentrate their fire on the consumer protection agency the bill would establish in the Federal Reserve. But that's a peripheral issue, and Republicans would be well advised to leave the opposition to CEOs like JPMorgan Chase's Jamie Dimon, a Democratic contributor, who argues persuasively that regulators should just do a better job of enforcing already existing rules.

The real heart of the Dodd bill is the provision creating a $50 billion fund collected from large financial firms and authorizing the FDIC to use the funds to reorganize any such firm it decides is failing. Under the bill, the FDIC would use this "resolution authority" rather than have the firm go into bankruptcy courts, as Lehman Brothers did after it collapsed in September 2008.

This sounds reassuring. But actually it's very dangerous. It amounts to granting "too big to fail" status to financial firms like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase. As my American Enterprise Institute colleague Peter Wallison and University of Pennsylvania law professor David Skeel explain in The Wall Street Journal, it tells those firms' creditors and shareholders that Uncle Sam will bail them out if they make what turn out to be imprudent loans.

The Lehman Brothers bankruptcy process was orderly and did not result in the financial collapse of the firm's counterparties in financial transactions. But it did impose severe losses on creditors, shareholders and managers. Players in the financial markets were put on notice that they face dire penalties for placing trust in shaky firms.

FDIC resolution authority would work differently. The Dodd bill specifically authorizes the agency to treat "creditors similarly situated" differently — i.e., it can pay off creditors who would get little or nothing in bankruptcy proceedings.

Moreover, as Wallison and Skeel note, the FDIC does not have experience in dealing with the abstruse financial instruments of the largest financial firms. It does a good job of winding up the affairs of small banks, paying off depositors and selling deposits to another bank. But it has never handled anything as big and complex as Lehman Brothers, as the bankruptcy courts have.

Granting large firms "too big to fail" status is dangerous on two counts. It can be hugely expensive to taxpayers. The bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have cost more than $120 billion so far.

In addition, "too big to fail" status means that, as Wallison and Skeel write, "large financial firms will be seen as protected by the government and, with lower funding costs, will squeeze out their Main Street competitors."

Little wonder that Goldman Sachs likes the idea. It will be able to borrow at lower cost than small competitors and will be assured that its large counterparties will qualify for government bailouts. Big firms tend to favor regulation because it insulates them from competition and protects them against loss.

Republicans owe no political debt to the big Wall Street firms. In the 2008 campaign cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics' opensecrets.org website, Goldman Sachs personnel contributed $4.5 million to Democrats and just $1.5 million to Republicans.


Letter from JWR publisher

Add in three other big Wall Street firms — Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup — and the total take was $12.7 million to Democrats and $6.7 million to Republicans. The image of Wall Streeters as solid Republicans is as dead as J. P. Morgan himself.

The big media tend to portray Republicans as opposed to all financial regulation. But every intelligent person knows that some form of financial regulation is necessary. And the 2008 financial collapse shows we need smarter regulation that will discourage, not encourage, government bailouts of Wall Street.

Republicans have good policy and political reasons to argue not for weaker regulation but for tougher regulation of Wall Street firms. They should oppose resolution authority that helps the big firms and, while they're at it, seek to increase the capital requirements on such firms that are left vague in the Dodd bill. Democrats have taken the side of Wall Street. Republicans should stand up for Main Street — and taxpayers — instead.

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JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




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