FROM Michael Crittenden
Finance Reform: Public Anger and Partisan Politics Yesterday, all the Senate Republicans and one Democrat voted not to allow a finance reform bill to go to the floor for debate. They claim they're trying to make improvements before they vote on the measure itself.
Roadblock on the Path to Financial Reform As a Senate committee was grilling Goldman Sachs executives today, Democrats called for another vote on finance reform , less than 24 hours after the last one. They claim all the Republicans voted "no" yesterday to protect Wall Street from a real crackdown. Republicans insist they just want a better bill. Behind the political theater, both sides seem to expect eventual action, because public anger has reached high-level intensity in this election year. Will the current measure shrink banks that are too big to fail? Will it protect taxpayers against future bailouts? Do we need more — or better — regulation?
White House Modifies Mortgage-Rescue Plan The Obama Administration has announced a major new initiative to help millions of troubled homeowners. It will let those who are underwater – owing more on their mortgages than their properties are worth – get new loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration. It also includes assistance for unemployed homeowners. The announcement comes after months of criticism that Washington has not done enough to prevent foreclosures. Michael Crittenden is finance reporter for Dow Jones newswires.
Obama Administration's Bank Rescue Plan Last month, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's outline of plans to stabilize the banking system was panned as being short on substance. Today, when details were explained , stocks soared on Wall Street and markets around the world. President Obama said the public-private partnership will allow banks to get bad assets off their books. Michael Crittenden is finance reporter for Dow Jones Newswires .
AIG, a Bottomless Pit for Bailout Money? American International Group , the world's largest insurance company, got $150 billion in federal bailout money in the last quarter of 2008 and still lost $62 billion. The Obama administration has promised AIG $30 billion more. Today an angry Senate Finance Committee threatened not to go along, unless it finds out where that federal money is going. But the Federal Reserve said revealing AIG's creditors would destroy the company, which is so big it could take the world's financial system along with it. How did it get that way? Where has all that taxpayer money been going? Is there an option to pouring in billions more?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.