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Blog Post
6/30/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Representatives from AIG are asserting good faith and denying that credit default swaps (CDSs) or over-the-counter derivatives were ever sold without due diligence or with lower underwriting standards. Cassano especially is maintaining that the financial instruments are performing well now under vehicles operated by the federal government. Phil...
Blog Post
6/30/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
The session with the "experts" is over. It is not entirely clear if the Commission learned anything new, especially considering the disparate views held by each of the panelists. In a telling series of answers, one member asked each of the panelists to rank the causes of the financial crisis. Two said over the counter derivatives were...
Blog Post
6/30/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
A quick interaction between members of the FCIC as they questioned their first panel of academics on derivatives this morning foreshadows the quagmire commissioners are delving into as they question AIG and Goldman Sachs executives this afternoon, concerning the derivatives deals that ultimately found AIG using taxpayer bailout funds to pay...
News Story
6/29/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
A consumer group warned in a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that health insurers “cannot be trusted” when lobbying over provisions of the new federal health reform law. Consumer Watchdog, which bills itself as a nonpartisan group, said investigations into California rate increases sought by...
Blog Post
6/29/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Drivers, homeowners and every other American who expects their insurance policies to be there in an emergency can breathe a sigh of relief that an eleventh hour fix saved consumers from insurance deregulation in the financial reform bill. The bill, as approved last week by the House-Senate conference committee, would prevent a new Federal...
Blog Post
6/24/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
On deck: the Merkley-Levin amendment/Volcker Rule that would ban proprietary trading by commercial banks. Next up: derivatives regulation, and a vote on the Lincoln provision to split swap desks from banking operations. It's a sign of just how hard the industry is working to sink these two provisions that, on what's supposed to be the final day of...
Blog Post
6/23/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
The House financial reform conferees just had a quick mini-debate on the Volcker rule - they'll have an extended discussion once the Senate has its say. The Volcker Rule would ban proprietary trading by commercial banks, to stop banks from using taxpayer-insured deposits to gamble in the Wall Street casino. Rep. Bachus argues that the Volcker...
Blog Post
6/22/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Senator Dodd is responding to the House offer now. The Senate is accepting 15 House changes, with modifications, and rejecting 8. Senator Dodd says that, under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, any company that provides a financial product or service will be subject to the same rules. He'll have to get rid of all the House carve-outs to...
Blog Post
6/22/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
House conferees just voted to send their offer on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to the Senate without substantive changes. Its provisions would: - Enhance the FTC's ability to do consumer protection.  The FTC's authority over false and misleading advertising should complement the CFPB's efforts to protect consumers of financial...
Blog Post
6/22/2010
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
The House/Senate conference committee on financial reform is debating the structure and authority of a consumer financial protection bureau. The issue just decided: Should the new Bureau regulate lending arranged by auto dealers? The House offer would exempt auto dealers. The original Senate bill would not.  The loophole would mean car...