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Wall Street is abandoning President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party:
Daniel S. Loeb, the hedge fund manager, was one of Barack Obama’s biggest backers in the 2008 presidential campaign.
A registered Democrat, Mr. Loeb has given and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democrats. Less than a year ago, he was considered to be among the Wall Street elite still close enough to the White House to be invited to a speech in Lower Manhattan, where President Obama outlined the need for a financial regulatory overhaul.
So it came as quite a surprise on Friday, when Mr. Loeb sent a letter to his investors that sounded as if he were preparing to join Glenn Beck in Washington over the weekend...
Over the weekend, the letter, with quotations from Thomas Jefferson, Ronald Reagan and President Obama, was forwarded around the circles of the moneyed elite, from the Hamptons to Silicon Valley. Mr. Loeb’s jeremiad illustrates how some of the president’s former friends on Wall Street and in business now feel about Washington.
Mr. Loeb isn’t the first Wall Streeter to turn on the president. Steven A. Cohen, founder of the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors and a supporter of the Obama campaign, recently held a meeting with Republican candidates in his home in Greenwich, Conn., to strategize about the midterm elections, according to Absolute Return magazine.
These banksters are turning their backs on President Obama and the Democratic Party because they're not carrying their water. Instead, the President and the Democratic Congress are standing up to Wall Street and holding them accountable.
Feeling burned by Obama, the Wall Street banksters turning to the Republicans and filling their campaign coffers because today's Republican Party is the party of Wall Street.
Having passed the Dodd-Frank Act earlier this summer, the bill that aspires to reorder our financial universe in the wake of the most serious economic crisis in generations, Congress has moved on to other matters. Regulators are left to write the rules that will make financial reform a reality — or not — and are beginning that laborious process. ..
The question is this: Will regulators give Wall Street’s big dealers what they want in a second bite of the apple?
There is no doubt that regulating the freewheeling derivatives market is important work. If done right, heightened scrutiny could well eliminate the potential for another disastrous bank run like the one that threatened world markets in September 2008 when the American International Group imploded. The insurer had written insurance on mortgage securities— a derivative known as a credit default swap — and almost collapsed after, among other things, onerous collateral calls from its trading partners drained its cash...
“It is again going back to the battlefield, and this is a much more complicated battlefield...”
“There is going to be so much pressure from the biggest financial institutions not to have limits,” said Heather Slavkin, senior policy adviser of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s Office of Investment and a participant in the Aug. 20 meeting. “Regulators are going to be very much focused on what types of swaps get cleared, so the governance and ownership aspects that are just as important may not get the attention they deserve.”
It's not over yet. We must continue to hold the regulators accountable and ensure that they follow both the letter and the spirit of the Wall Street Reform law.
We did it. We passed Wall Street Reform. Now, lenders are no longer rewarded for bad behavior:
It has become fashionable to blame profligate borrowers for the calamity. And there is no question that in the madness of the housing bubble, some people should never have sought mortgages or bought homes they clearly couldn’t afford. But the crisis was driven by Wall Street’s hunger for quick profits and its eagerness to buy mortgages and package them into securities. Banks, mortgage companies, brokers and appraisers all conspired to steer borrowers into loans with escalating interest rates, balloon payments and other conditions that made them highly prone to default.
The new law does not ban risky loans outright. It does establish several conditions that, if correctly implemented, should discourage lenders from issuing them.
Lenders must now take the common-sense precaution of documenting the borrower’s ability to pay. They can no longer penalize borrowers — eager to free themselves from subprime or other risky mortgages — for paying off the loans early. And lenders are forbidden to pay kickbacks — “yield spread premiums” — to brokers who push borrowers into costly, higher-interest loans.
If loans violate the law, borrowers will be able to stop a foreclosure and sue to recover damages. The risk of being hauled into court should persuade investors to look closer at the underlying loans to make sure that they conform with federal law.
These are all good, and desperately needed, reforms. Industry lobbyists, who do some of their best work in the rule-making phase, will work hard to water them down.
Consumer advocates are especially worried about how the Fed will formulate the rules that are supposed to stop lenders from steering creditworthy minority or female applicants into more expensive mortgages and end “wealth stripping,” under which lenders design loans that quickly rob homeowners of their equity.
Congressional leaders believe that the Fed was chastened by the crisis and will now do all that is needed to protect lenders. Given the agency’s long history of kowtowing to the banks, mortgage lenders and credit card companies, Congress will need to do more than trust. It will have to verify that the new rules finally give consumers — and the American economy — the strong, permanent protections they need.
It's time for the Fed to step up. And, if they don't, they must be held accountable.