Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: Wells Fargo Had a Bad Day. That's a Start.

MORNING MESSAGE

Richard Eskow
Wells Fargo Had a Bad Day. That’s a Start.
People who came looking for drama in Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf’s Senate testimony on Tuesday did not come away disappointed ... Stumpf squirmed, shifted and shuffled under the relentless questioning of Sen. Elizabeth Warren ... In a Marie Antoinette moment, Stumpf insisted that the employees who were fired had “good-paying jobs.” The employees’ pay fell in the $30,000-$60,000 range; that is, from well below to just above median household income. Stumpf made $19.3 million last year.

Warren v. Wells Fargo

Sen. Warren grills Wells Fargo CEO. USA Today: “The Massachusetts senator has built a reputation for being tough on shady Wall Street dealings and the executives she believes are responsible. But she took it to the next level with Stumpf.”
“The Obama Administration Must Prosecute Wells Fargo,” argues TNR’s David Dayen: “…Stumpf revealed enough information, combined with what was already known in public records and filings, to make a powerful case for securities fraud. Specifically, that he touted fraudulent sales figures to investors as evidence of the bank’s growth, boosting the stock price and personally benefiting by $200 million. Worst of all, Stumpf used low-paid workers as the raw materials for this scheme, and as the scapegoats when it unraveled.”

PROTESTS IN CHARLOTTE OVER MAN KILLED BY POLICE

Disabled African-American killed by police in Charlotte. NBC: “Hundreds of protesters demonstrated in Charlotte, N.C., overnight after police confirmed they had shot and killed a man while they were seeking a different person … protesters gathered in response to unconfirmed social media posts alleging that police had killed an unarmed and disabled black man … Police said in a statement that officers searching for a suspect with an outstanding warrant about 4 p.m. ET when they saw a man exit his vehicle ‘armed with a firearm.’ …”

BUDGET DEAL ADVANCES

Budget deal clear procedural vote but details still TBD. Politico: “The Senate voted 89-7 on Tuesday evening to move forward on a bill that eventually will be used to fund the government through Dec. 9 … Yet enough Republicans supported McConnell on the matter because there are still several opportunities to block the bill later if senators believe they are getting a raw deal in the end …Campaign finance, trucking safety and the Internet domain system are among the grab bag of issues keeping the Senate from a final deal … But the biggest hurdle, Zika, has been resolved without including any language that would block Planned Parenthood’s partner clinic in Puerto Rico…”
Rep. Jim Clyburn’s poverty plan could pass. The Hill:“Leading Republicans have in the past supported Clyburn’s targeted spending approach, which would funnel more federal dollars to the most poverty-stricken parts of the country. Now those same GOP leaders — who had adopted Clyburn’s formula to govern more than a dozen federal programs earlier in the year — are vowing to fight for those same provisions as part of the budget debate Congress is poised to have in December.”

CAN ISDS BE FIXED?

Roosevelt Institute’s Todd Tucker proposes ISDS fix in Politico oped: “TPP didn’t create the [investor state dispute settlement] system, and rejecting it won’t end it … such a fix would require just a few sentences of legislation to rein in the worst abuses of the system while upholding investor rights … this would give third parties a new right to petition U.S. courts to vacate arbitration awards that affect broader social interests.”
NYT suggests poll numbers favor TPP, though not in Rust Belt: “National polls continue to show that Americans either narrowly favor international trade generally, and the so-called T.P.P. specifically, or are split. Younger voters are especially favorable. But Republicans are not, reflecting the influence of the anti-trade nominee Donald J. Trump on his traditionally pro-trade party. And certainly trade remains more unpopular in battleground states like Ohio, where it is blamed for years of manufacturing job losses.”

SEC INVESTIGATING EXXON

“SEC Probes Exxon Over Accounting for Climate Change” reports WSJ: “The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating how Exxon Mobil Corp. values its assets in a world of increasing climate-change regulations, a probe that could have far-reaching consequences for the oil and gas industry … In 2014, Exxon determined that none of its assets were at risk of being rendered less valuable by impacts from the global response to climate change.”

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