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WSJ – Banks to Donald Trump: Don’t Kill Dodd-Frank

WSJ – December 8, 2016: “Big banks have an unexpected message for President-elect Donald Trump: Don’t trash the Dodd-Frank Act. “We’re not asking for wholesale throwing out Dodd-Frank,” J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. chief James Dimon said at a financial-services conference this week where he and other big-bank executives spoke, often addressing potential regulatory changes for the first time since the election. That is a contrast to some in Washington who have called for full repeal of Dodd-Frank, the legislation passed in 2010 that imposed new constraints on banks and created new agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. A proposal that would effectively replace Dodd-Frank, by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the Republican chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has gained momentum since the election. The Trump team has talked about dismantling the law, although it has yet to state clearly whether this would involve a repeal of Dodd-Frank. Bank stocks have soared about 20% since the election, partly on the belief President-elect Donald Trump in some way will lighten banks’ regulatory load. While banks favor a paring back of regulation, they tend to think in practical terms, rather than ideologically. And their core message seems to be: Make regulation simpler and less costly, but don’t return banking to the Wild West days that preceded the financial crisis.”

GAO Reports on DATA Act Implementation

DATA Act: Implementation Progresses but Challenges Remain, GAO-17-282T: Published: Dec 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 8, 2016: “The DATA Act requires OMB and Treasury to establish government-wide data standards and requires federal agencies to begin reporting financial and payment data in accordance with these standards by May 2017. The act also requires establishment of a… Continue Reading

FOIA Lawsuits Mirror News Headlines And Increase 35 Percent

The FOIA Project at the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse: “Very detailed court records of the near record 512 suits brought under the Freedom of Information Act in FY 2016 provide a detailed roadmap of how businesses, political groups, reporters and many others used the powerful law to achieve their widely varied goals. Court records obtained,… Continue Reading

Paper contradicts accepted science – Monkey vocal tracts are speech-ready

“For four decades, the inability of nonhuman primates to produce human speech sounds has been claimed to stem from limitations in their vocal tract anatomy, a conclusion based on plaster casts made from the vocal tract of a monkey cadaver. We used x-ray videos to quantify vocal tract dynamics in living macaques during vocalization, facial… Continue Reading

Energy Dept. survey by Trump transition targets staff on climate issues

Washington Post: “The transition team has asked department officials to identify which employees have worked on forging an international climate pact, raising concerns that Donald Trump’s team may be singling out people who have helped implement certain policies under President Obama….The Trump transition team has issued a list of 74 questions for the Energy Department,… Continue Reading

EFF – Librarians, Act Now to Protect Your Users

EFF Posting: “Books checked out from a library and terms searched on library computers can reveal a teenager’s questions about sexual orientation, a neighbor’s religious leanings, or a student’s political interests. Libraries across the country, particularly public libraries, make it part of their mission to serve the most vulnerable and underserved user groups, including users… Continue Reading

U.S. raises bar on seafood imports to further curb illegal fishing, fraud

NOAA – December 8, 2016:  “Today, the U.S. established additional protections for the national economy, global food security, and the sustainability of our shared ocean resources. NOAA Fisheries will administer the Seafood Import Monitoring Program to further curb Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing practices and to identify misrepresented seafood imports before they enter the… Continue Reading

OECD Health Statistics 2016

“The online database OECD Health Statistics 2016 was released on June 30 and all datasets have been updated on October 12.  The OECD Health Database offers the most comprehensive source of comparable statistics on health and health systems across OECD countries. It is an essential tool to carry out comparative analyses and draw lessons from international… Continue Reading

Hate Index Tracking the Toll of Intolerance Post-Election 2016

“What is The Hate Index? The Hate Index represents a journalistic effort to chronicle hate crimes and other acts of intolerance since the Nov. 8, 2016 Presidential Election victory of Republicans Donald Trump and Mike Pence over Democrats Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine. The idea is to tally as many verifiable incidents as possible, and… Continue Reading

Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2017 to 2026

“The Congress faces an array of policy choices as it confronts the challenges posed by the amount of federal debt held by the public—which has more than doubled relative to the size of the economy since 2007—and the prospect of continued growth in that debt over the coming decades if the large annual budget deficits… Continue Reading

TIME 100 – The Most Influential Images of All Time

TIME: “Though photography is a much younger medium than painting—the first photo is widely considered to date from 1826—the astonishing technological advances since then mean that there are now far more pictures taken every day than there are canvases in all the world’s galleries and museums. In 2016 alone, hundreds of billions of images were… Continue Reading

American dream of exceeding income of parents drops to 50% for children born in 1985

Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States – Thomas Piketty (Paris School of Economics); Emmanuel Saez (UC Berkeley and NBER); Gabriel Zucman (UC Berkeley and NBER). December 2, 2016 Abstract – “This paper combines tax, survey, and national accounts data to estimate the distribution of national income in the United States since… Continue Reading