Inside the secretive campaign by state legislators to pass conservative amendments in 34 states and rewrite the Constitution.

The FDIC and the Federal Reserve Board voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve the Volcker rule to provide more oversight on Wall Street banks. The SEC voted 3-2 in favor, with both Republican commissioners voting against the rule. The new regulations will make it more difficult for banks to make bets with the bank’s own money (known as proprietary trading), as well as changing compensation practices that encourage risk-taking. Regulators have spent two and a half years since the financial reform bill Dodd-Frank passed toward finalizing the rule.

The Securities and Exchange Commission unceremoniously dropped a proposal to require corporations to disclose contributions to political and nonprofit groups to their shareholders from its list of regulatory priorities for 2014.

The federal government shutdown is expected to cost the U.S. economy between $2 billion and $6 billion in economic output.

"The great tragedy of the financial crisis was not that Washington regulations failed to prevent it, but instead that Washington regulations helped lead us into it."

Jeb Hensarling, GOP Congressman & Current Head of the Financial Svcs Comm, in Thomas Edsall’s Op-Ed: The Political-Monetary Complex

"In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated. My view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks."

Spencer Bachus, GOP Congressman & Former Head of the Financial Svcs Comm, in Thomas Edsall’s Op-Ed: The Political-Monetary Complex

Four of the five Nobel Prize-winning researchers currently working for the federal government were “furloughed and unable to conduct their federal research.”

Food banks are now reporting shortages, since the Emergency Food Assistance program is closed. North Carolina has entirely suspended its Women, Infants and Children nutrition program because it relied so heavily on federal funding, and other states are likely to follow. (Think Progress, as always, has the best list of impacts, here.) Ironically red states are feeling the shutdown most because they get so much federal funding, but the impact is mainly on poor people.


The sequesters were designed to be so awful and harmful that they wouldn’t happen and force action. As we know, they didn’t work that way and we got them. And now you‘ve got a lot of people who I would call either radical, or people so ignorant they don’t understand it, who think that this is a good thing.

No doubt it’s bringing spending down in the short run, which is causing some short term damage to the economy, but when you look at what its going to do to some of the most important elements of society including the framework of basic research that really is our greatest advantage in the global economy, grants that would have among them breakthroughs in debilitating diseases, scientists spending all their time writing proposals now instead of doing science, people who will leave because they can’t get funding that NIH won’t provide, DARPA, which really did give us the Internet among other path breaking things, is shuttered effectively. All of those things, plus the harm to national security, are much deeper. Right now it’s a matter of triage.


Norm Ornstein: The South is in charge of Congress

Tags: government