Saturday, November 22, 2008

Constitutional Act of the Day: Glass-Steagall Act of 1933

Our most beloved constitutional act <3

A.K.A. The Banking Act of 1933

Started the FDIC

Brought about banking reforms to control speculation (the assumption of the risk of loss, in return for the uncertain possibility of a reward)

Established Regulation Q: put interest ceilings on savings accounts, zero interest for checking, and promoted the emergence of N.O.W. and Money Market accounts -the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 later repealed Regulation Q

Established the allocation of currency by the Federal Reserve for the first time ever

Separated bank types: Commercial banking (individuals, small business, large organizations) vs. Investment banking (corporations and municipalities- use of securities)

Arguments for keeping it around:

1)Preventing the same institution from granting credit, setting up provisions for the use of credit, lending, and investing.

2)Depository institutions already have control over other people's money, this act would limit their activity in the market for funds (loans or investments) to ensure stability and healthy competition

3)Securities can bring about substantial losses, and as a result, jeopardize the value of deposits. Since those deposits are guaranteed by the FDIC, government must cough up our money. ***Remember government cannot create money, it can only re-assign (earmark) it

4)Depository Institutions are supposed to manage(minimize) risk.

This act was repealed in 1999 by the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act.

I don't feel like summarizing the arguments against the Glass-Steagull Act.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Let's Meet the Cabinet-Designate: Chief of Staff - Rahm Israel Emanuel

If you know me, you would know that I always vote for Nader. This time around I had to give my vote to the Democratic Party. We knew Barack O'bama was going to win, let's now focus on the people he is going to surround himself with.

Chief of Staff: highest ranking member of the Executive Office, Senior Aide to the President. Kind of like a secretary/office coordinator: oversees everyone else on the Cabinet, makes the Pres.'s schedule, decides who he get's to meet with the Pres. - V.I.P. to the extreme. They advise the Pres. on policy and staffing issues, and they smooze with Congress to help implement the President's agenda as well.

Rahm "Rahm-bo" Emmanuel Run-Down:
Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2005
Started out his political career with Illinois Public Action (public interest\consumer rights)
Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 2003
Chicago Illinois's 5th Congressional District (close to home for Barack)
Member of the New Democrat Coalition (that makes me a bit worried) Neo-Liberal
Directed Bill Clinton's campaign finance committee, helped Clinton to raise $72 million to fight off Ginnifer Flowers and Vietnam draft character attacks
Senior Advisor to Clinton from 1993 to 1998
Leading Strategist for (failed) Universal Healthcare Clinton initiative (thumbs up for that attempt)

Co-Author of The Plan: Big Ideas for America(2006)
Brother of Ari Emmanuel - Hollywood Agent (think Jeremy Piven & Entourage)
Choreographed the handshake (1993 Rose Garden signing ceremony for the Oslo Accords) between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat
Not afraid to put some rotten fish in your mailbox
1998- 2002 Post-White House: Investment banker at Wasserstein Perella (Dresdner Kleinwort)
Made $16.2 million as an Investment banker
Served on the Board of Directors for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac)
Resigned from his Freddie Mac board position to run for Congress in 2001
Pledged in 2006 to support Hillary for the Presidency, but felt torn when Barack told him that he was going to run
Top House recipient in the 2008 election cycle of contributions from hedge funds, private equity firms, and the larger securities/invesment industry
Almost chopped his finger off working for Arby's as a youth

* Let's hope that healthcare is his number one priority and bailing out the financial industry isn't.