From the outset there was reason to believe that, as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Jo White would not be an effective regulator. Lo and behold that’s how things are playing out. Ms. White has pissed off Sen. Warren. Sen. Warren sent her a letter the other day expressing her displeasure.
From today’s NY Times:
Mary Jo White, the new chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has gotten off on the wrong foot. Last week, in her first commission vote, Ms. White led the commissioners in approving a proposal that, if finalized, could leave investors and taxpayers exposed to the ravages of reckless bank trading.
No kidding. Wow. Nobody saw that coming from – like – a mile away. (I’ll be interested to see if Senator Warren offers an opinion here. This seems like the sort of thing which would bother her.) Back to the NY Times editorial:
At issue is the regulation of the multitrillion-dollar market in derivatives. When speculative derivative bets go right, the results are lavish bank profits and huge banker paydays. When they go wrong, the results are shareholder losses and taxpayer-provided bailouts…
The S.E.C. proposal would let the foreign branches of American banks avoid rules being developed under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and instead follow rules that prevail in the foreign countries where the deals are done. Foreign banks involved in derivative deals with American companies also could adhere to their own country’s rules as long as those rules are deemed broadly comparable to Dodd-Frank rules…
Political Power Needs to Be Used, NY Times editorial (emphasis added):
If ever there were a moment for Democrats to press their political advantage, this is it. Their message on many of the biggest national issues — taxes, guns, education spending, financial regulation — has widespread support, and they have increased their numbers in both houses of Congress. But after years of being out-yelled by strident right-wing ideologues, too many in the Democratic Party still have a case of nerves, afraid of bold action and forthright principles…
After four years of timidity, Senate Democrats say they will finally vote on a budget this year, no longer afraid to stand up for higher tax revenues and targeted spending increases. That is a sign of progress, but it remains to be seen how strong a budget will pass and how many Democrats will back it.
Politicians play in a rugged arena and are understandably obsessed about losing power. But that power needs to be used for something other than perpetual re-election. The next two years will challenge lawmakers of both parties to demonstrate that they came to Washington for a purpose.
In Hard Economy for All Ages, Older Isn’t Better … It’s Brutal by Catherine Rampell