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Category Archives: Congress

Subcommittee Finds “Basket Options” Misused To Dodge Billions In Taxes And Bypass Federal Leverage Limits

“Two global banks and more than a dozen hedge funds misused a complex financial structure to claim billions of dollars in unjustified tax savings and to avoid leverage limits that protect the financial system from risky debt, a Senate Subcommittee investigation has found. The improper use of this structured financial product, known as basket options, isContinue Reading

Report: Dodd-Frank Act Does Not End Too Big to Fail But Perpetuates It as Official Policy

“House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) today released a committee staff report [prepared by the Republican Staff of the Committee on Financial Services] that concludes the Dodd-Frank Act did not end “too big to fail” as the law’s supporters claim, but actually had theContinue Reading

Loopholes for Circumventing the Constitution: Warrantless Bulk Surveillance on Americans by Collecting Network Traffic Abroad

Arnbak, Axel and Goldberg, Sharon, Loopholes for Circumventing the Constitution: Warrantless Bulk Surveillance on Americans by Collecting Network Traffic Abroad (June 27, 2014). HOTPETS, 2014. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2460462 “In this multi-disciplinary paper, we reveal interdependent legal and technical loopholes that intelligence agencies of the U.S. government could use to circumvent constitutional and statutoryContinue Reading

New poll on anniversary of Dodd Frank finds majority of Americans identify Wall Street with risk

“On the 4th anniversary of the passage of the Dodd-Frank law and nearly 6 years since the financial collapse of 2008, American voters still distrust Wall Street and big banks and strongly support tough financial regulation of them, according to a new national survey of likely 2014 voters. The result is a strong majority of voters supporting stricter regulations of theContinue Reading

Analysis of Recent Mass Shootings Released by Advocacy Group

“In 2013, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America came together to tackle our shared goals. We’ve combined the best minds in policy-making with a grassroots movement of more than 2 million motivated members…Using FBI data and media reports, Everytown for Gun Safety developed an analysis of mass shootingsContinue Reading

Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information – CRS

Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information - M. Maureen Murphy, Legislative Attorney. July 14, 2014 “One of the functions transferred to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under P.L. 111-203, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), is authority to issue regulations and take enforcement actions under the two major federal statutes that specify conditions under which customerContinue Reading

Bipartisan Policy Center Recommends Improvements to Key Features of the Dodd-Frank Act

“The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative today released three top ten lists highlighting key areas of progress made since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act four years ago, along with 20 proposed action items for regulators and Congress to address the significant challenges that remain. These include: Top Ten Areas Where Dodd-Frank Made Progress Top TenContinue Reading

The 2014 Long-Term Budget Outlook

“Between 2009 and 2012, the federal government recorded the largest budget deficits relative to the size of the economy since 1946, causing its debt to soar. The total amount of federal debt held by the public is now equivalent to about 74 percent of the economy’s annual output, or gross domestic product (GDP)—a higher percentageContinue Reading

New Data on Unaccompanied Children in Immigration Court

“Records just obtained under the Freedom of Information Act offer new insights about government policies governing the handling of the recent surge of unaccompanied children seeking entry into the U.S. As of the end of June 2014, the more than 100,000 case records obtained and analyzed by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) show thatContinue Reading

Brookings – A Cascade of Failures: Why Government Fails, and How to Stop It

“In this research paper, Paul C. Light writes that the “first step in preventing future failures is to find a reasonable set of past failures that might yield lessons for repair.” To meet this goal, Light asks four key questions about past federal government failures: (1) where did government fail, (2) why did government fail,Continue Reading

Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate

CRS - Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate. Angele A. Gilroy, Specialist in Telecommunications Policy. July 2, 2014. “As congressional policy makers continue to debate telecommunications reform, a major point of contention is the question of whether action is needed to ensure unfettered access to the Internet. The move to place restrictions on the owners of theContinue Reading

“For Official Use Only” is Used Too Much at DHS, House Says – FAS

Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News: “There is too much information that is marked “For Official Use Only” at the Department of Homeland Security, the House Appropriations Committee said in its report on DHS Appropriations for 2015….Here is the Committee language from its June 19 DHS Appropriations report: Over-Classification of Information - The Committee is concerned with the number of reports, briefings,Continue Reading