Additional Focus

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Why so few sketchy bankers are behind bars

October 1, 2014 BY: Robert C. Hockett TOPICS: Additional Focus, General Policy

TCF fellow Robert C. Hockett has been quoted in a CBS News article about the accountability of high-ranking bankers connected to the financial crisis.

When future historians write about Attorney General Eric Holder's tenure leading the U.S. Department of Justice, one topic sure to get much discussion is why no high-ranking bankers connected to the financial crisis received criminal charges. It's a question that legal experts say has no easy answer.

Under Holder's leadership, Justice has collected billions in fines through civil actions and has gotten two banks to plead guilty to criminal charges, but bringing charges against top Wall Street executives, which Holder says hasn't been ruled out, won't be easy.

Read the full article.

Tags: wall street, wall st, financial crisis, eric holder, department of justice, bankers, attorney general eric holder

Scholar Zeke Emanuel says he wants to die at 75. Here’s why this author hopes to live.

September 30, 2014 BY: Harold Pollack TOPICS: Additional Focus, General Policy

TCF fellow Harold Pollack has written an article for the Washington Post about living past 75 years of age.

I have spent much of my adult life trying to provide basic financial security for my wife and my children. I would end my life if it could only be prolonged by creating huge financial burdens—not because I will have lost my zest for living, but because I don’t want to defeat one of my life’s most important efforts. I would derive greater satisfaction using my wealth to help finance a grandchild’s education than I would rolling the dice on some uncertain chemotherapy for metastatic cancer.

Read the full article.

Tags: healthcare costs, health insurance

Holder calls for bigger rewards for whistleblowers

TCF fellow, Robert C. Hockett has been quoted in a CBS News article about rewarding whistleblowers.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today called on Congress to provide bigger financial rewards to Wall Street whistleblowers, arguing that the current payoffs are too small to entice executives to provide evidence against their employers who have committed wrongdoing. He is hopeful that such cooperation would lead to criminal cases connected to the financial crisis.

Under The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), which deals with fraud committed against investors, whistleblower awards are capped at $1.6 million. Holder argues that is a "paltry sum" for a highly paid financial services executive who is aware of illegal activities to report them to the government. He wants FIRREA's awards to be more in line with the False Claims Act under which whistleblowers are entitled to up to one-third the settlement amount.

Read the full article.

Tags: whistleblowers, whistleblower, attorney general eric holder

We Need a New National Progressive Movement

September 12, 2014 BY: Mark Thoma TOPICS: Additional Focus, General Policy

TCF fellow, Mark Thoma has been quoted in a Daily Kos article about the importance of federal government.

This brief review of American economic and political history shows that throughout our history there has been constant tension between two competing theories of government: the Jeffersonian vision of an agrarian democracy of semi-autonomous states with the federal government limited primarily to providing national defense; and the Hamiltonian view of a vibrant industrial nation unified by a powerful central government. By and large, the Hamiltonian view won out, but now our ability to meet the challenges of the 21st Century is threatened by a resurgence of support for something approximating the Jeffersonian view.

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Tags: government services, capitalism

Wait a minute, Mr. Postman: Why postal banking won’t work

August 27, 2014 COMMENTARY BY: Jacob Anbinder TOPICS: Additional Focus, General Policy

TCF's Jacob Anbinder argues that allowing the Postal Service to provide basic financial servies is a bad idea, in an article for The Week.

Tags: financial institutions, banks

Tea Party steers GOP right - away from White House

August 15, 2014 BY: Michael Cohen TOPICS: Additional Focus, General Policy

TCF fellow, Michael Cohen writes about the divide between the GOP's presidential and congressional wings, in an article for The Boston Globe.

If there has been one theme in Republican Party primaries this year — from Eric Cantor’s stunning upset to Thad Cochran’s success in holding back the far right in Mississippi — it is the establishment versus the Tea Party. But with the primary season now wrapping up, a more crucial divide in the GOP is emerging: the one between the party’s presidential and congressional wings. The latter continues to dominate the GOP with potentially calamitous results.

To be sure, the establishment/Tea Party frame has always been a bit overstated. The establishment held back the Tea Party by basically co-opting their issues and rhetoric — while in the process moving the party even more to the right.

Read the full article.

Tags: tea party, republican party, gop


Additional Focus

Additional Focus

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