Archive for the ‘wall street’ Tag

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will be a major thorn in Mitch McConnell’s side after it was announced that he has been promoted to the position of ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee.

The promotion is big for Sen. Sanders, and it also means that he is going to have a high profile seat from which to launch his 2016 challenge to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

In a statement, Sanders made it clear that he is going to be battling the Koch billionaires, Wall Street, and bringing attention to the growing problem of income inequality, “I want to thank Sen. Reid and the Democratic caucus for the opportunity to serve as the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee. At a time when the middle class is disappearing and the gap between the rich and everybody else is growing wider, we need a budget which reflects the needs of working families and not Wall Street and the top 1 percent. I look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans on the committee to craft a budget that is fair to all Americans, not just the powerful special interests.”

Republican Nightmares Come True As Bernie Sanders Gets A Big Promotion In The Senate

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Sen Elizabeth Warren “This is the day we remember St Patrick, who legend has it, drove the snakes out of Ireland.  Unfortunately, too many of them went to Wall Street.  Where are you now when we really need you St Pat?”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/03/17/sen-elizabeth-warren-pokes-fun-at-gop-wall-street-during-south-bostons-annual-st-patricks-day-breakfast/

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Retailers are preparing for a triple whammy as the restoration of the payroll tax, surging gas prices, and stagnant employment and wages take a bite out of consumers’ disposable income, leaving them with less cash to spend on clothing, groceries, and eating out.

As a result, more than three years after the recession officially ended, American consumers might be preparing to downshift again, if only slightly, with low-income consumers hit the hardest. Sensing consumer trepidation, retailers are scrambling to adjust.

Retailers, restaurants, and consumer goods companies like Wal-Mart are lowering sales forecasts and adjusting marketing campaigns ahead of expectations that consumers will slash spending, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In a survey released Thursday, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said some 46 percent of consumers plan to spend less as a result of the payroll tax increase. One-third said they will reduce dining out and one-quarter will spend less on “little luxuries,” like manicures and trips to coffee shops.

“A smaller paycheck due to the fiscal cliff deal early last month, higher gas prices, low consumer confidence and ongoing uncertainty about our nation’s fiscal health is negatively impacting consumers and businesses across the country,” Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF, said in a statement.

Originally enacted in December 2010 to help taxpayers weather the recession and to spur economic activity, the payroll tax cut expired Jan. 1 of this year. The restoration of the tax effectively raised the rate from 4.2 percent in 2012 to 6.2 percent in 2013, shaving 2 percent from consumers’ take-home pay.

That means Americans making $50,000 a year will pay $83 more in taxes each month, almost $1,000 more each year. Those making $75,000 will pay $125 more each month, or $1,500 more each year. As retailers see it, that’s $1,500 less a consumer has to spend on groceries, household goods, and dining out.

Multiply that by 153.6 million people in the labor force and retailers start to panic. According to an estimate by Citigroup, the expiration of the payroll tax cut will move $110 billion out of consumers’ pockets.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/02/23/wal-mart-worried-payroll-tax-could-cut-consumer-spending/

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Seven banking federal regulators from places like the Security and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission testified in front of the group, which oversees Wall Street. Lawmakers pressed the witnesses on their efforts to crack down on these institutions following the financial crisis.

When given the floor, Elizabeth Warren cut straight to the point by asking the one lingering question on many minds. “The question I really want to ask is about how tough you are–about how much leverage you really have,” Warren began. “Tell me a little bit about the last few times you’ve taken the biggest financial institutions on Wall Street all the way to trial.”

The witnesses testifying seemed like they had been given a pop quiz by the former Harvard professor; no regulator could remember the last time they took a Wall Street bank to trial. Their answers, which were under oath, didn’t seem to get a passing grade from the senator.

“We do not have to bring people to trial,” declared Thomas Curry, head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Warren shot back, “I appreciate that you say you don’t have to bring them to trial. My question is, when did you bring them to trial?”

Elisse Walter, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, told Warren, “I will have to get back to you with specific information.”

Even after the bailouts and global financial collapse several years ago, Warren argued banks still “don’t have much incentive to follow the law.”

“There are district attorneys and U.S. attorneys who are out there every day squeezing ordinary citizens on sometimes very thin grounds, and taking them to trial in order to make an example, as they put it,” said Warren. “I’m really concerned that ‘Too Big Too Fail’ has become ‘Too Big For Trial.’ That just seems wrong to me.”

 

http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/02/15/warren-to-regulators-when-was-the-last-time-you-took-a-wall-street-bank-to-trial/

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From the debate last night:

Q: Mr. President, I voted for you in 2008. What have you done or accomplished to earn my vote in 2012? I’m not that optimistic as I was in 2012. Most things I need for everyday living are very expensive.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, we’ve gone through a tough four years; there’s no doubt about it. But four years ago I told the American people and I told you I would cut taxes for middle-class families, and I did. I told you I’d cut taxes for small businesses, and I have. I said that I’d end the war in Iraq, and I did. I said we’d refocus attention on those who actually attacked us on 9/11, and we have gone after al-Qaida’s leadership like never before, and Osama bin Laden is dead.

I said that we would put in place health care reform to make sure that insurance companies can’t jerk you around, and if you don’t have health insurance, that you’d have a chance to get affordable insurance, and I have. I committed that I would rein in the excesses of Wall Street, and we passed the toughest Wall Street reforms since the 1930s. We’ve created 5 million jobs, gone from 800,000 jobs a month being lost. And we are making progress. We saved an auto industry that was on the brink of collapse.

Now, does that mean you’re not struggling? Absolutely not. A lot of us are. And that’s why the plan that I put forward for manufacturing and education and reducing our deficit in a sensible way, using the savings from ending wars to rebuild America and putting people back to work, making sure that we are controlling our own energy, but not just the energy of today but also the energy of the future — all those things will make a difference. So the point is, the commitments I’ve made, I’ve kept. And those that I haven’t been able to keep, it’s not for lack of trying, and we’re going to get it done in a second term.

But you should pay attention to this campaign, because Governor Romney’s made some commitments as well, and I suspect he’ll keep those, too. You know, when members of the Republican Congress say, we’re going to sign a no tax pledge so that we don’t ask a dime from millionaires and billionaires to reduce our deficit so we can still invest in education and helping kids go to college, he said, me too. When they said, we’re going to cut Planned Parenthood funding, he said, me too. When he said, we’re going to repeal “Obamacare,” first thing I’m going to do — despite the fact that it’s the same health care plan that he passed in Massachusetts and is working well — he said, me too. That is not the kind of leadership that you need, but you should expect that those are promises he’s going to keep.

http://www.npr.org/2012/10/16/163050988/transcript-obama-romney-2nd-presidential-debate