Category Archives: Banking & Lending Issues

In Latest Populist Betrayal, Trump Executive Order Unchains Wall Street Greed

Orders signed Friday are ‘nothing more than special favors for the same Wall Street banks that crashed our economy in 2008 and put millions of Americans out of work’

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-21-2017

Photo: YouTube

In yet another Wall Street giveaway, President Donald Trump on Friday afternoon took executive action to chip away at Dodd-Frank financial regulations and roll back rules aimed at reducing corporate tax avoidance.

Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs for watchdog group Public Citizen, described the orders signed Friday at the Treasury Department as “nothing more than special favors for the same Wall Street banks that crashed our economy in 2008 and put millions of Americans out of work.” Continue reading

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‘Payout Time’: Exxon Seeks Waiver From U.S. Sanctions to Drill in Russia

“Exxon applied for waiver from sanctions on Russia. Among departments who must approve: State Department, run by company’s ex-CEO”

By Nika Knight, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-19-2017

Photo: Fox News screenshot/Twitter

Exxon is applying for a waiver from the U.S. Treasury Department to bypass U.S. sanctions against Russia and resume offshore drilling in the Black Sea with the Russian oil company Rosneft, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Among those charged with deciding to grant the permit is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon who previously oversaw the company’s Russia operations. Continue reading

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Borrowers ‘Chilled to the Bone’ as DOE Reneges on Student Loan Forgiveness

Young people who took low-paying, public-sector jobs with promise of loan forgiveness now ‘hosed’

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-31-2017

As first wave of qualified workers prepare to apply for loan forgiveness, they may have an unpleasant surprise waiting for them. (Photo: thisisbossi/flickr/cc)

In a troubling development for the countless people saddled with student debt, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) may be reneging on a promise made to over 550,000 such borrowers who were led to believe that their loans would be forgiven after ten years of work in the public service.

Responding to an ongoing lawsuit from four borrowers, the DOE has given no explanation but says that approval letters sent to individuals who signed up for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program are not in fact “binding,” the New York Times reported Thursday. Continue reading

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Lawmakers Feel the Heat as Resistance Shows Up in Droves to Town Halls

Overflow crowds and tough questions marked Saturday’s Congressional recess events around the country

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-18-2017

“This is what the resistance looks like,” Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan wrote Saturday on Twitter. (Photo: Rep. Mark Pocan/Twitter)

Energized crowds in New York, South Carolina, and Wisconsin on Saturday morning gave lawmakers a hint of what awaits them in their home districts during the upcoming Congressional recess.

The Buffalo News reported that “[h]uge crowds of raucous progressives and quieter conservatives overwhelmed [Republican] Rep. Tom Reed’s town hall meetings in Ashville and Cherry Creek Saturday morning, with the progressives repeatedly interrupting and shouting down the congressman’s comments as he tried to defend Republican plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.”

In Ashville, N.Y., so many people showed up that the meeting had to be moved outside to a parking lot.  Continue reading

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Why whistleblowers are essential to democracy

In a functioning democracy, it is absolutely crucial for power to be held to account. For this we need whistleblowers.

By Rebecca Sentance. Published 2-3-2017 by openDemocracy

Free Chelsea Manning.Grafitti in Vienna, Austria, 2014. Wikicommons/smuconlaw.

On January 17, 2017, whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s 35-year prison sentence was commuted to seven years from her date of arrest, in one of President Obama’s last acts before leaving office. At the time of her commutation, Private Manning had spent more time behind bars than any other person in US history who had disclosed information considered to be in the public interest.

The information leaked by Chelsea Manning – videos, diplomatic cables and reports relating to the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan – exposed corruption and human rights abuses, and is widely regarded to have been a catalyst for the Arab Spring that began in December 2010. Continue reading

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Elizabeth Warren To Democrats: Only an ‘Opposition Party’ Can Defeat Trump

Crisis didn’t just begin with Trump, says Massachusetts senator, “because for years and years and years, Washington has worked just great for the rich and the powerful, but far too often, it hasn’t worked for anyone else”

By Jon Queally, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-4-2017

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s speech at the 2017 Progressive Congress Strategy Summit in Baltimore on February 4, 2017. (Screenshot: YouTube)

Speaking to members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Saturday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) delivered a searing critique by telling her fellow Democrats that the party should not let themselves “off the hook” when it comes to explaining horrific reality of President Donald J. Trump.

In order to defeat Trump and take on the Republicans, she said, Democrats can no longer play it safe or cozy up to powerful interests at the expense of everyday concerns and the needs of working people.

“Our moment of crisis didn’t begin with the election of Donald Trump,” Warren told CPC members gathered at their annual retreat in Baltimore, Maryland. “We were already in crisis. We were already in crisis because for years and years and years, Washington has worked just great for the rich and the powerful, but far too often, it hasn’t worked for anyone else.” Continue reading

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‘Spectacular Betrayal’ as Trump Hands Economy ‘Back Over to Wall Street’

‘The Wall Street bankers against whom Trump ran are making policy now,’ says Public Citizen

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-3-2017

Executive orders seen as “a cave-in to the power of Wall Street and the financial lobby.” (Photo: Dave Center/flickr/cc)

President Donald Trump is handing the U.S. economy “back over to Wall Street” on Friday, with a regulatory rollback that critics say could put consumers and the financial system at risk.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump signed executive orders Friday “establish[ing] a framework for scaling back the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law” and rolling back an Obama-era regulation requiring advisers on retirement accounts to work in the best interests of their clients. That rule was set to go into effect in April. Continue reading

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‘Dangerous’ and ‘Dumb’: Trump Signs Executive Order Torching Regulations

“It will fundamentally change our government’s role from one of protecting the public to protecting corporate profits”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 1-30-2017

A demonstrator in Washington, D.C. holds a sign on Jan. 27, 2017. (Photo: Lorie Shaull/flickr/cc)

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday that aims to slash regulations—an action, advocacy groups say, that puts lives at risk.

The order—the latest of a flurry since he took office—states that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination,” fulfilling a campaign promise he made.

“For fiscal year 2017, which is in progress, the heads of all agencies are directed that the total incremental cost of all new regulations, including repealed regulations, to be finalized this year shall be no greater than zero,” it adds. Continue reading

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Actually, Goldman Sachs ‘Hacked’ the Presidential Election

By Carey Wedler. Published 1-13-2017 by The Anti-Media

As the media continues to parrot American intelligence agencies’ as-of-yet unsubstantiated claims that Russia hacked the U.S. election, there is far more evidence to implicate an equally dangerous infiltrator: Goldman Sachs.

The infamous banking company, which was widely implicated in the 2008 economic crash, appears to have come out on top in the most recent U.S. presidential election.

On one hand, Goldman Sachs was hedging its bets on a Hillary Clinton victory. Considering the banking monolith was one of her top donors — and that she received harsh criticism for accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from the firm — it’s clear the powerful financiers had every intent of influencing the election and politics in general. Continue reading

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State Lawmakers Urge Rejection of Militaristic, Conflict-Ridden Nominees

125 state legislators demand U.S. Senate only confirm cabinet nominees who respect diplomacy, civil liberties, and ‘our sacred tradition of a civilian-led government’

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 1-9-2017

“From crumbling bridges and inadequate road maintenance to the opioid crisis and a lack of support for our veterans, the last 15 years of war and nation-building endeavors have taken an enormous toll on our communities and our ability as state lawmakers to provide critical services to our constituents,” the letter reads. (Photo: Adventures of KM&G Morris/flickr/cc)

A coalition of progressive state lawmakers from around the country on Monday sent a letter to Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), demanding the U.S. Senate only confirm cabinet nominees “who have an established record of respecting the importance of diplomacy and other tools of statecraft over the unnecessary use of force, respecting civil liberties, placing American interests over personal interests, and upholding our sacred tradition of a civilian-led government.” Continue reading

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