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Daily Archives: May 16, 2018

Financial Regulation: The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act

CRS report – Financial Regulation: The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155), May 14, 2018

“The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) was passed by the Senate on March 14, 2018. The bill generally aims to provide regulatory relief to banks, relax mortgage lending rules, relax capital formation regulations, and provide additional consumer protections related to credit reporting and other areas. This Insight briefly highlights major policy proposals. For a more detailed examination, see CRS Report R45073, Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) and Selected Policy Issues, coordinated by [author name scrubbed]. Some observers assert the financial crisis of 2007-2009 revealed excessive risk had built up in the financial system, and that weaknesses in regulation contributed to that buildup and the resultant instability. In response, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203; Dodd-Frank). In addition, regulators strengthened rules under existing authorities, such as by implementing regulations adhering to the Basel III Accords—the international agreement setting standards for bank regulation. Following this broad overhaul of financial regulation, some observers argue the changes are an overcorrection and certain regulations are unduly burdensome. In general, S. 2155 aims to address these concerns by providing regulatory relief to segments of the financial system. Proponents of the bill assert it would provide targeted financial regulatory relief, foster economic growth, and provide increased consumer protections. Opponents of the bill argue it would needlessly pare back important Dodd-Frank protections to the benefit of large and profitable banks. Many proposals in S. 2155 can be grouped into one of five categories: (1) regulatory changes for “community” banks, (2) regulatory changes for large banks, (3) amendments to mortgage lending regulations, (4) new consumer protections in credit reporting, and (5) regulatory changes in capital markets.”

Virtual digital assistants to overtake world population by 2021

Ovum: “Globally, the native digital assistant installed base is set to exceed 7.5 billion active devices by 2021, which is more than the world population according to the US Census Bureau on May 1, 2017. But fear not – Skynet, from the popular Terminator movies, does not feature among the leading digital assistants. Instead, Google Assistant… Continue Reading

Cohen files leaked by Treasury law enforcement official turned Whistleblower

New Yorker – Ronan Farrow – “Missing Files Motivated the Leak of Michael Cohen’s Financial Records – A law-enforcement official released the documents after finding that additional suspicious transactions did not appear in a government database.” “Last week, several news outlets obtained financial records showing that Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney, had used a shell… Continue Reading

Study – Google and Internet Archive Are Top Choices for ISIS Propaganda

Fortune: “While the Islamic State has been largely wiped off the physical battlefield, the terrorist group continues to maintain a steady presence on popular websites despite an increased push by tech companies to purge them. On Tuesday, the cybersecurity firm Flashpoint released a new report that lists the most popular sources of ISIS propaganda over… Continue Reading

TIME magazine cover story – How Baby Boomers Broke America

Steven Brill – How My Generation Broke America [Brill is the author of Tailspin, from which this article is adapted, out this month from Alfred A. Knopf.] This appears in the May 28, 2018 issue of TIME: “Lately, most Americans, regardless of their political leanings, have been asking themselves some version of the same question:… Continue Reading

Facebook Releases First-Ever Community Standards Enforcement Report

EFF: “For the first time, Facebook has published detailed information about how it enforces its own community standards. On Tuesday, the company announced the release of its Community Standards Enforcement Preliminary Report, covering enforcement efforts between October 2017 and March 2018 in six areas: graphic violence, adult nudity and sexual activity, terrorist propaganda, hate speech,… Continue Reading

Law enforcement can identify your vehicle by make, model, year, color, features via new software

News release: “Leonardo’s ELSAG ALPR solutions are used by nearly 4,000 customers in over 25 countries by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.Leonardo will introduce two new Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) solutions at the 2018 IACP Technology Con ference on May 21-23 in Providence, Rhode Island. The ELSAG MTC and ECSS will be… Continue Reading

Facebook loses fight with IRS over 7B tax bill from overseas income

The Register: “Facebook has lost its bid to throw out a tax bill on $7bn worth of income it had stashed overseas. A Northern District of California judge ruled in favor of the IRS this week, finding the Social Network did not have standing to challenge the tax bod’s finding that Facebook underreported its revenues… Continue Reading

Study – The academic papers researchers regard as significant are not those that are highly cited

London School of Economics Impact Blog (LSE) – ‘For many years, academia has relied on citation count as the main way to measure the impact or importance of research, informing metrics such as the Impact Factor and the h-index. But how well do these metrics actually align with researchers’ subjective evaluation of impact and significance? Rachel… Continue Reading

Senate Intel Cmte acknowledges Russia interfered in 2016 presidential election in favor of Trump

Washington Post: “The Senate Intelligence Committee has determined the U.S. intelligence community was correct in assessing Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election with the aim of helping then-candidate Donald Trump, contradicting findings House Republicans reached last month. “We see no reason to dispute the [intelligence community’s] conclusions,” the committee’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.),… Continue Reading

40 percent of plastic is used just once and it’s choking our waterways

National Geographic: We Made Plastic. We Depend on It. Now We’re Drowning in It. The miracle material has made modern life possible. But more than 40 percent of it is used just once, and it’s choking our waterways. “Because plastic wasn’t invented until the late 19th century, and production really only took off around 1950,… Continue Reading