According to the Wall Street Journal, federal "pay czar" Kenneth Feinberg will order seven bailed out financial institutions and auto companies to cut their compensation packages for top officers by 25%-50%. According to one professor interviewed, this represents a "seismic shift" in corporate governance.
This week, the Center for Media and Democracy is launching its new campaign on the "Banksters" with a new companion website, www.Banksterusa.org, and a new portal in our online encyclopedia called the "Real Economy Project." We are so fortunate that Mary Bottari brought this much needed effort to demystify economic issues and spur people to take action to CMD, with the support of our founder, John Stauber, and our Board.
I see this project as the beginning of a new phase in CMD's life of weighing in on crucial issues in the media and before Congress and trying to make a real difference in outcomes. In many ways, this new effort is a return to our roots and builds on CMD's long-standing mission to "inform and assist grassroots citizen activism that . . . promotes economic justice." At the same time, this effort really takes the gloves off in aiming at both the spin and the underlying policies that have undermined the promise of the American dream.
Congress Daily reports today that the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA), faces another serious challenge and this time from Wisconsin. Milwaukee Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., appears close to getting her amendment adopted to exclude providers of credit insurance from regulation by the CFPA.
Insurance companies are hot targets right now in the debate over skyrocketing medical costs and health care reform.
But there is another, little-noticed factor could also be sucking untold health care dollars out of our pockets, and it's one we seem loathe to address: the part that doctors themselves have in quietly pushing up the costs of our medical care. This is an area that is begging for closer scrutiny, and in which patients need more help.
October 14th, the Obama administration's principal piece of financial service reform legislation, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, will be up for committee consideration in the House Financial Services Committee. The most important thing to know about the bill? It creates a new federal agency in Washington whose sole purpose is to protect consumers from the deceptive tricks and traps of the financial services industry. The most important thing to know about the committee reviewing the bill? It's on FIRE.
Joe Nocera of The New York Times asks "Have Banks No Shame?" in response to their opposition to new consumer protections proposed in the wake of the biggest bank bailout in history. In the piece, Nocera reports that Simon Baker, a former International Monetary Fund economist, calls the banks' opposition "unconscionable," stating:
“They can’t pay what they owe!” he began angrily. Then he paused, collected his thoughts and started over: “Tim Geithner saved them on terms extremely favorable to the banks. They should support all of his proposed reforms.”
Rarely does the U.S. government crack down on itself for misleading the public, but in a refreshing turn of events -- that is just what happened this week in Washington, D.C.
Likening the actions of the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to those of Oscar Wilde's famous cynic "who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing," New York Federal Judge Jed Rakoff tossed an SEC settlement with Bank of America (BofA) out of court yesterday and ordered the parties to ready for trial.