Bill Scher's LiberalOasis

Home of the LiberalOasis Radio Show, Bill Scher columns and other liberal commentary

Month: May 2010 (page 1 of 2)

Learning from the Meltdown

What are the lessons that we can take from the financial meltdown? Too big to fail is too big to exist. That is one of the biggest lessons, but the Senate hasn’t learned squat.
From HuffPo:

A move to break up major Wall Street banks failed Thursday night by a vote of 61 to 33.
Three Republicans, Richard Shelby of Alabama, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John Ensign of Nevada, voted with 30 Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, in support of the provision. The author of the pending overall financial reform bill in the Senate, Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, voted against it. (See the full roll call.)
The amendment, sponsored by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), would have required megabanks to be broken down in size and capped so that their individual failure would not bring down the entire system.
Under Brown-Kaufman, no bank could hold more than 10 percent of the total amount of insured deposits, and a limit would have been placed on liabilities of a single bank to two percent of GDP.

Brown-Kaufman was a good start but it got voted down. Why? Wall Street owns Congress. Regulation will never be enough to control these really huge banks. We need to limit their size.
Brooksley Born tried to look at derivatives. She wanted to investigate whether or not we should regulate derivatives. (This was back in the Clinton administration.) Larry Summers, Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan shut her down cold. Derivatives were not regulated. Billions of dollars that were not accountable to us were part of the cause of the economic meltdown.
Video link
Finally, economist Dean Baker has a nice piece on Wall Street:

We had some hopes of reining in the million dollar babies with the financial reform package, but those hopes appear to be dimming. The effort to downsize the “too big to fail” banks got trounced in the senate last week, garnering just 33 votes. Apparently, the prospect of having to head out into the markets unprotected by the implicit guarantee of government bailouts was too frightening for JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and the other big banks. Their lobbyists twisted the arms and got the overwhelming majority of the senate to continue the big bank subsidy of free government insurance indefinitely.
There is still another good opportunity to rein in the banks ability to gamble with our money. Senators Merkley and Levin have proposed an amendment that would prohibit commercial banks from trading on their own behalf. The point is that commercial banks are backed up by the Federal Deposit Insurance Cooperation and the Federal Reserve Board. If they get into trouble, it is taxpayers’ dollars at risk.
Until the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999, commercial banks were sharply restricted in what they could do, precisely in order to prevent them from taking advantage of this guarantee. If you wanted to engage in highly speculative activity you could set up a hedge fund or an investment bank, but Glass-Steagall prevented banks from gambling with government insured deposits. But this separation was obliterated by the repeal and now we have investment banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley that are openly speculating with taxpayer insured money.

No LiberalOasis Radio Show This Week…

…as we are taking off for the holiday weekend. We’ll be back next week!

The Week In Blog: Spill Baby Spill Edition

The latest edition of The Week In Blog is up at BloggingHeads.tv featuring Matt Lewis and myself discussing blog reaction to the President’s handling of the Gulf spill, Jake Tapper’s renouncing of the term “ObamaCare” and the blogger-fueled allegations in the SC governor’s race. Watch it below.
http://static.bloggingheads.tv/maulik/offsite/offsite_flvplayer.swf
Also, check out my appearance on The Matt Lewis Show podcast from earlier this week, as we talk oil spill and the PA senate race.

The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Pleasant Conversation With A Conservative Edition

Today’s LiberalOasis Radio Show podcast features our interview with Politics Daily’s Matt Lewis about the conservative reaction to the Kentucky and Pennsylvania primary elections. Plus, Traci Olsen and I discuss the Wall Street reform, the elections and the series finale of “Lost.”
You can download the podcast at these links: (iTunes / XML feed / MP3).

The Bill Dwight Show: In My Backyard

The Bill Dwight Show continued its quest for world media domination by walking a block-and-a-half, sitting in my backyard, and talking to me about the Wall Street reform bill. Check it out at BillDwightShow.com

Where In The World Is The Bill Dwight Show?

Right here … with Rachel Maddow.

The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Chance For Climate Edition

Today’s LiberalOasis Radio Show podcast features our interview with Grist’s David Roberts about the prospects for the newly introduced Kerry-Lieberman clean energy jobs and climate protection bill. Plus, Traci Olsen and I discuss the Kagan nomination, the new Lib-Con British coalition and the end of “Lost.”
You can download the podcast at these links: (iTunes / XML feed / MP3).

The Week In Blog: Ragin’ Kagan Edition

The latest edition of The Week In Blog is up at BloggingHeads.tv featuring Matt Lewis and myself discussing blog reaction to the Kagan nomination, next week’s primaries and the end of the Blogometer. Watch it below.
http://static.bloggingheads.tv/maulik/offsite/offsite_flvplayer.swf

The LiberalOasis Radio Show: A New Dawn

Today’s LiberalOasis Radio Show podcast is the first after we pulled our show from WHMP in protest of the cancellation of The Bill Dwight Show.
Our first guest in this new chapter of The LiberalOasis Radio Show is Bill Dwight. We discuss the fragile state of community radio.
Also, today’s edition marks the beginning of Traci Olsen as show co-host. Welcome aboard! We discuss the British election, the oil spill’s impact on the Senate climate bill, and the Senate debate over Wall Street reform.
As always, you can download the podcast at these links: (iTunes / XML feed / MP3).

The Week In Blog: 2 -2 = 0 Edition

The latest edition of The Week In Blog is up at BloggingHeads.tv featuring Reason magazine’s Peter Suderman and myself on blog reaction to the BP oil spill, Dave Weigel’s dust-up with anti-gay activists and conservatives who are conceding that tax cuts don’t raise revenues. Watch it below.
http://static.bloggingheads.tv/maulik/offsite/offsite_flvplayer.swf

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