Monday, October 3, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: "Two Million Felonies": Will Wells Fargo's Scandal Change Wall Street?


Richard Eskow
“Two Million Felonies”: Will Wells Fargo’s Scandal Change Wall Street?
Big-bank CEOs have presided over a cornucopia of criminality in recent years. Their misdeeds are so varied and numerous that Wall Street begins to loom in the mind like some Hieronymus Bosch landscape, a scene whose occupants stun the imagination with the scope of their diversity and perversity. And yet these top executives have managed to avoid being held accountable – legally, financially, and even socially – for their actions. Is that finally about to change?


Fine print of Trump tax return particularly shocking, says W. Post’s Allan Sloan: “… he would have been tax-free because of a $15,818,562 loss reported on Line 11 of the return under ‘Rental real estate, royalties, partnerships, S corporations, trusts, etc.’ It looks to me that this loss reflects the outrageous, special tax break that real estate developers that people like Trump can get, but that the rest of us can’t … I have plenty of problems with the Clintons’ financial behavior, as I wrote. But at least Hillary Clinton is proposing tax code changes that would cost her and her family money. Trump, by contrast, is proposing tax changes that would greatly benefit the commercial real estate business, which is his primary field, and would greatly benefit his own family.”
The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer deems Trump an “American Oligarch: “…with the Times reporting that congressionally-crafted loopholes for real-estate magnates could have enabled Trump to legally evade all income taxes for eighteen years, while earning as much as $50 million a year, we have a perfect example of how oligarchic interests have made inroads in the United States. The question now is whether the American public favors this trend.”
Clinton to deliver economic speech in OH today. Politico: “…the Democratic nominee plans to condemn ‘in-it-for-yourself’ corporations … The Democratic nominee will also lay out two new proposals that promote ‘free and fair competition between corporations and address corporate abuse.'”


LIbertarian VP candidate Bill Weld turning his fire on Trump. The Atlantic quotes: “We are drawing 50-50 [from the two major parties], but that’s before people hear everything I have to say about Mr. Trump for the next seven weeks.”
Sanders knocks Johnson on CNN: “Look at his point of view on issues like the environment, on climate change, on the economy. And I think, if any of the people voted for me take a hard look what he stands for, I think — and understand where he’s coming from, they will not be supporting him.”


India ratifies Paris climate deal. Reuters: “[The pact] needs to be formally ratified by countries representing at least 55 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions … Next week the European Union is expected to complete the joint ratification of the climate pact, which will be a major milestone as it would take approvals past the 55 percent mark and put the deal into effect ahead of the next round of climate talks in November, in Morocco.”
Clinton campaign sees climate change as “wedge issue.” Politico: “Clinton’s focus groups … show that a central wedge issue is global warming, a cultural and political signifier that differentiates Clinton’s self-style rationalism from Trump’s visceral populism. That’s why you heard her slip the words ‘climate change’ into her spiel so often at Hofstra – and why she’ll do the same in St. Louis.”
The next president will have a massive impact on the climate. Bloomberg: “… it seems fair to ask what the next president can do about such an existential subject. It turns out quite a bit, from rolling back rules or making new ones, building on treaties or withdrawing from them, to deciding whether to appeal a critical court ruling … With climate change underway, and a global policy framework in place, presidents may have increasing power, and responsibility, to fight the problem…”


Our Revolution Chairman Larry Cohen criticizes TPP, announces town hall meetings, in Quad City Times oped: “Iowa CCI Action, the Communications Workers and Our Revolution will be holding a series of town hall meetings across Iowa from Oct. 5-8. We will be discussing the TPP and mobilizing opposition but most importantly demanding that all candidates for the House and Senate tell us which side they are on.”
W. Post’s Jared Bernstein lays out principles of “smart and fair trade”: “85 percent of those who gave input to our TPP negotiators were from ‘corporate interests and their trade associations.’ With a meager 15 percent of the input left to noncorporate interests … That ratio has to be flipped … Smart, fair trade starts with selecting trade partners based on their countries’ records … known bad actors should be barred from the negotiating table until they’ve made proven, effective efforts to clean up their acts …”


Supreme Court begins new session. USA Today: “Before Scalia’s death in February, the justices agreed to hear some of the most controversial cases on its calendar affecting insider trading, class action lawsuits and government ‘takings’ of private property. Those are issues the conservative jurist cared deeply about — but without his vote, the odds of his side winning are longer … The justices could decide to reconsider President Obama’s proposed overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, on which they deadlocked 4-4 in June.”
Canada goes Keynesian. WSJ: “Mr. Trudeau’s big infrastructure spend will be largely financed by a bigger deficit, which is projected to reach C$29.4 billion this fiscal year, or about 1.5% of gross domestic product. That’s a sharp turn from the balanced-budget promise of his Conservative predecessor, who hewed the austerity path Mr. Trudeau is now shunning. Canada’s efforts stand in contrast to many of the world’s economies…”

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