Morning Reading

Good morning. Yesterday, we talked about how the Volcker Rule might be abandoned. Well, today, there's word that a stand-alone consumer protection agency for the financial system might be axed as well.

The Consumer Financial Protection Agency might be dead (Washington Post)

The Obama administration is no longer insisting on the creation of a stand-alone consumer protection agency as a central element of the plan to remake regulation of the financial system.

In hopes of quick congressional approval of a reform bill, White House officials are opening the door to compromise with lawmakers concerned about creating a new bureaucracy, according to congressional and some administration sources.

Please don't kill the CFPA (New York Times)

Congress cannot pass a new law for every new scam the industry comes up with. What the country clearly needs is a strong, fully engaged Consumer Financial Protection Agency that protects Americans from abusive, deceptive and predatory lending practices.

Senate Republicans who continue to block this essential reform -- putting the interests of the financial industry ahead of American consumers -- should pay a political price for their misplaced priorities.

The president threw Volcker under the bus (Daily Beast)

Of course, the administration is still pushing for "reform" of the banking system to prevent another meltdown, but by all accounts, the measures floated so far will do nothing more than force the firms to hold a little more capital if they want to roll the dice in the markets. The main thrust of what Volcker wanted to do and needs to be done--prevent the American taxpayer from ever again having to subsidized banks' risk taking--appears nowhere to be found.

Toyota's CEO gets an "F" (Fortune)

As Akio Toyoda will surely learn, the longer he stays in the job, the root cause of Toyota's quality problems is a company that has strayed from the innovative principles that made it successful. It has become large, bureaucratic, arrogant, and insular -- more concerned with growth and profits than selflessly serving its customers.

Jobs bill passes Senate (PBS NewsHour)

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I don't know how many people remember Ralph Nader's attempt to start a consumer protection agency back in the 1970s. They estimated that the cost to the average tax payer would be 5 cents per year. What followed was a postcard campaign where millions of people mailed nickels to Congress. The proposal had overwhelming public support, something like 90%. Yet special interests mounted a massive campaign and still managed to kill it in Congress.

If they did it before they can probably do it again. That should tell you how much money there is to be made from made from exploiting consumers. That's why there's a lot of people whio don't want consumers to be protected.

Well said Ned. It's a sad commentary about our political system when they tell us that if we make their friends stop taking our money the current way then we will have forced them into coming up with worse ways for them to take our money.

So are we going to see discrimination suits now for businesses hiring people classified as 'unemployed' over people who aren't classified as unemployed just to get this tax break?

Why aren't any of the large news agencies covering the protests in Greece? They broke out the tear gas, and I didn't hear anything about it.

The jobs bill sounds dull. Poor marketing. The public does not get to see anything tangible that it can support.

A better jobs bill would have been to build tangible things and then let the economy benefit from the trickle down. For example, we could spend $150 billion to replace America's old bridges. http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/07/28/bridge.report/index.html

Even after the mismanagement, sloth, graft, poor bids, and corruption are added to the cost (which Americans can rightly complain about), we would at least have new bridges once the work was done!

What do we get after a random small business earns a tax break by hiring someone who has been out of work for a while? Nothing I can see, feel, or touch: That's what.

The best jobs bill would be for Congress to say they are not going to pass any of these crazy expensive proposals they seem set on ramming through. I've seen repeated commentary that businesses aren't hiring because of all the uncertainty - they think they are going to get hammered to pay for everything.

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