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The Brown Infidelity

June 21, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

If you look at which senators have been receiving the most finance industry money this electon cycle, the list starts off looking pretty much as expected. New York Senators Charles Schumer [D] and Kirsten Gillibrand [D], who literally represent Wall Street, are one and two. Third in the list is Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV], who, as Majority Leader, holds a lot of influence over the Senate’s financial reform efforts. And after Reid is Sen. Chris Dodd [D, CT], the Chairman of the Banking Committee where the Senate’ financial reform bill was written.

Following Dodd on the list, in the fifth spot, is newly-elected Sen. Scott Brown [R, MA], who holds no official positions of power and is not a member of the Banking Committee with jurisdiction over financial reform legislation. As I wrote in April, “the typical story of Scott Brown’s election to the Senate in MA is that he was put there to kill health care reform. But all the money he’s getting from the finance industry indicates that they may be hoping he will also be the 41st Republican vote to kill financial regulatory reform, or at least parts of it.”

In May, Sen. Brown gave the Democrats the 60th vote they needed to overcome a Republican filibuster of their financial reform bill, but now as it’s going through the conference committee, he’s using his leverage as a crucial swing vote to fight for carve outs that would benefit the financial companies who have been funding him. The New York Times reports:

Industry lobbyists — and sympathetic members of Congress — are pushing for provisions to undercut a central pillar of the legislation, known as the Volcker Rule, which would forbid banks from using their own money to make risky wagers on the market and would force them to sell off hedge funds and private equity units.

To secure the support needed for their bill, Senate negotiators are leaning toward creating a series of exemptions to the Volcker Rule that would allow banks to continue to operate these businesses as investment funds that hold only client money, according to several Congressional aides, industry officials and lawyers.

The three main changes under consideration would be a carve-out to exclude asset management and insurance companies outright, an exemption that would allow banks to continue to invest in hedge funds and private equity firms, and a long delay that would give banks up to seven years to enact the changes.

In particular, the provisions, sought by Senator Scott Brown, Republican of Massachusetts, and several other lawmakers, would benefit Boston-based money management giants like Fidelity Investments and State Street Corporation.

…Fidelity Investments is Brown’s all-time top campaign contributor. OpenSecrets lists “FMR Corp” in the #1 spot on Brown’s page of top contributors. “FMR” stands for “Fidelity Management and Research,” better known as Fidelity Investements, according to Yahoo Finance.

Dealbook adds: “To win Mr. Brown’s support and clear the way for Senate approval, Democratic leaders have pledged to support the carve-out for asset managers, according to officials familiar with the talks.”

And Tim Fernholz asks, why are the Dems looking at weakening the bill to win a Republican vote when they could strengthen it to win a Democratic one:

Assuming that the Senate voting coalition on the financial reform conference report will be similar to that of the original Senate bill, two Democratic Senators — Russ Feingold and Maria Cantwell — could be courted to support the bill in return for strengthening it. Perhaps there is some concern that the two Maine Senators who voted for cloture, Oympia Snowe and Susan Collins, will bolt without a third Republican, but that’s all the more reason to keep Collins’ amendment to increase capital requirements for banks.

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Comments

Chris51 07/10/2010 7:14am

Republicans filibustered UI Ext bill! They’re asking for UI Ext be paid, while at the same time they’re fighting to give their Special Interest groups special tax stimulus. Rep are trying to look like they care about the deficit, but for 10 yrs (Bush Admin) they never spoke of concerns for the huge deficit they were digging us into as they approved large spending for Special Interest. The Rep debate on these UI Ext bills are like “broken record”. They want USA to use the stimulus money that is already committed to the agreed upon projects, programs, etc. Republicans want USA to “rob Peter to pay Paul”, so they can try to prolong the problem past November election. This is how they have operated for YEARS, and we’re in worse shape now because of their IRRESPONSIBLENESS. People should not be in Leadership positions if they cant make decision for the problems at hand.
Dont take my word for it. Please read links Donny Shaw and others have provided with accurate research and reporting.

Chris51 07/08/2010 7:30pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 08, 2010 7:30pm

GOP are determined to bloc everything the President is trying to do for the USA right now. He has a vested interest, and seems to take pride in doing the best job he can while in office.
We are in trouble as long as Republican politicians continue favoring their special interest.
How can any CEO or Owner of business get anything done if half of his managers or executives stand in his way just to be defiant.

President Obama speech on CSPAN today, while in Kansas City, MO to support a future candidate. Was right on.
If you are an unemployed American, and are thinking no one understands the difficulties of being jobless. Obama speech articulated the financial and emotional struggles well. Hat’s off to the President for saying what needed to be said.

http://cspan.org/Watch/Media/2010/07/08/HP/A/35248/Pres+Obama+Remarks+at+Fundraiser+for+Missouri+Senate+Candidate+Robin

Chris51 07/08/2010 7:30pm
in reply to Chris51 Jul 03, 2010 10:09pm

Senator’s excuse for not passing is a false statement.
Read all about it:
The funding argument is even harder to swallow. I’d be more sympathetic with these new converts to fiscal responsibility if they were as enthusiastic about paying for extending $32 billion worth of special interest tax breaks as they are about funding the unemployment extension. If I understand correctly, these lawmakers insist that Congress fund every dime of added jobless aid, which nearly all analysts agree will help boost the economy. But they feel no need to pay for continuing these special interest tax breaks, which will not.
Full Story:
http://www.csmonitor.com/Money/Tax-VOX/2010/0707/Senate-struggles-with-unemployment-benefits

Chris51 07/03/2010 10:09pm

REPUBLICAN FILIBUSTER ON UI EXT BILLS!
Why don’t our Senators get that there is a great need?

The job market is broken.
The corporate executives are not going to give up their year-end profit bonus by adding jobs/payroll to their companies.

Here are a few stories on our jobless nation:

Job recovery hits a wall
http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/02/news/economy/jobs_june/index.htm

Job gloom at all time high
http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/03/news/economy/discouraged_workers/index.htm

7.9 million jobs lost- many forever
http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/02/news/economy/jobs_gone_forever/index.htm

Jobless claims spike
http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/01/news/economy/jobless_claims/index.htm

Thousands at risk for losing unemployment benefits
http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/money/job_news/unemployment-benefits-jeopardy-6-28-2010

Chris51 07/01/2010 9:44am
in reply to jgpt777 Jun 21, 2010 9:59am

Corporations have increased their cash reserves to $1.84 TRILLION, THE HIGHEST FIGURE IN HISTORY! Big business and the banks, after an unprecedented bailout by the public treasury, are hoarding the funds (Americans pay this back on their IRS tax bill). BIG CORPORATIONS EXECUTIVES ARE MAKING BIG BONUSES AND GETTING SALARY INCREASES FOR SHOWING HUGE PROFITS. The cash reserves of major corporations have jumped 26 percent in one year, the largest percentage increase in nearly 60 years. The cash reserves of working people, and particularly the unemployed, have not been so fortunate.

REPUBLICANS bloc, the SENATE vote and defeat sevaral proposed extension of unemployment benefits for unemployed workers. Many of these same Senators rushed through a $700 BILLION bailout of Wall Street in 2008 in a matter of days, cannot bring itself to support even the most meager subsistence for the unemployed workers who are the victims, not the perpetrators, of the economic crisis.
WWW.CHANGE.ORG

Chris51 06/30/2010 10:51pm
in reply to jgpt777 Jun 21, 2010 9:59am

The Senate needs to be held accountable for their incompetence and lack of integrity. Shame on them for not coming up with a 100% solution for all Americans who are forced to survive on their UI.

President Obama can’t sign a bill, if Congress doesn’t get it to him. President Obama’s discussed the economy, and the need to help the displaced unemployed with UI Extentions on Monday and Tuesday. CSPAN.ORG

As of today, we have 9.7% unemployed, 55% of the workforce have taken reduced work hours, pay-cuts, unpaid leave, forced to switch to part-time, and BP Oil Corporation’s IRRESPONSIBLENESS is adding to LOST JOBS and LOST LIVES.
1.2 million who will lose their Unemployment Insurance if Republicans get their way.

The GOP have no vested interest in hearing or helping jobless people. The only communication Republicans hear is $$$$$. That’s why they listen to and only support Oil Companies, Insurance Companies, Banks, Big Corporations, and Wall Street

pongobongo 06/22/2010 8:06am

I live in Massachusetts. My husband has been out of work for over a year. Cannot find a job!! I know it sounds unbelievable but it is true!!! We are very very depressed and upset. Can’t sleep at night. Knowing the little bit we have been receiving from unemployment might be taken away? This bum has to be thrown out of office. If this bill does not pass there will probably be a riot. I can understand why and I will be joining. This no good pretty boy should be thrown out on his *. He is not there to help the American people who are desperate. He is there to help his Republican party. This is unreal. How can this be legal? MASSACHUSETTS…LETS GET HIM OUT OF OFFICE A.S.A.P. Don’t forget…HE WORKS FOR US. WE PAY HIS SALARY. Throw him out!!!

mwashington28 06/21/2010 10:44am

This whole ordeal have me just sick. The very people that I voted in do not care about the American people. Whether they realize it or not for every person that has lost unemployment compensation there are approximately 10 bills not being paid, which now dampens the economy. My electric, gas, water, credit card bills, rent, and student loan payments now become overdue. I have been sending out 20 to 25 resumes a week and only may get a reply or two. Even interviewing for jobs that I know I can do has been a disaster. Just going through this has me never wanting to vote again.

theyareoutoftouch 06/21/2010 10:20am

I lost my job this December iv`e been employed all my life Ia`m 52 years old and NEVER had to collect unemployment in my life.Now that i need unemployment these people who have no clue to how the American people are hurting continue to put their own agendas ahead of what us American people need NOW.Please wake the**** up and help your people out get this bill through today and do your job

jgpt777 06/21/2010 9:59am

THESE SENATORS THAT KEEP VOTING AGAINST EXTENDING UNEMPLOYMENT, DON’T GIVE A DAM ABOUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WHO ARE WAITING FOR THE MUCH NEEDED ASSISTANCE, GOOD AMERICAN PEOPLE WHO HAVE WORKED HARD ALL THERE LIVES, IT IS NOT THERE FAULT THEY GOT LAID OFF, BECAUSE THE ECONOMY IS SO BAD.
THESE SENATORS GO TO BED EVERY NIGHT LAUGHING AND SAYING, F—K THOSE PEOPLE ON UNEMPLOYMENT, THEY SHOULD GET OFF THERE LAZY A— AND GO FIND A JOB.
“THEY ARE OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE PEOPLE”.
AND THERE IS A BIG PROBLEM, FOR EVERY ONE JOB THERE IS 7 APPLICANTS AND THERE DISCRIMINATING AGAINST PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT CURRENTLY EMPLOYED.
I KNOW THOSE WORTHLESS SENATORS READ THESE COMMENTS, “WHY DON’T YOU HAVE THE GUTS TO RESPOND?” ESPECIALLY McCain FROM ARIZONA.(YOUR NOT FOR THE PEOPLE, LIKE YOU SAY)
AND tom coburn FROM OKLAHOMA, GO HOME AND SCREW YOUR SELF, STOP YOUR DELAY TACTICS ON EXTENDING UNEMPLOYMENT.
ALL THE AMERICANS THAT WORKED HARD ALL THERE LIVED AND ARE ON UNEMPLOYMENT,“LETS UNITE”

enrico17 06/21/2010 9:16am

Oh, are there any elected officials that does what is best for the American People, and not for themselves or their party. He really talked a good game, what a phony. Pack up his truck and send him back to MA where he can pose for another magazine, we should have know what type of man he was just by that alone. I am an Independent voter, but there was no one Kennedy, when he voted on legislation it was because he sincerely believed it was best for the American people.

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