U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

January 25, 2011

-- Noam: Obama is co-opting business. -- Why didn't the Mafia succeed in Washington? -- Sports Illustrated on the SEC (the college football version) and oversigning.

The Messy Mortgage Market Just Got Messier (UPDATED)
October 13, 2010

Today, 49 states have launched a joint investigation “ into allegations that mortgage companies mishandled documents and broke laws in foreclosing on hundreds of thousands of homeowners.” But it appears the mortgage market is even messier than that massive investigation would suggest--Felix Salmon at Reuters is onto another (and possibly even larger) problem. Here's the quick version of what happened:  Big banks bought up big pools of mortgages to package and sell as mortgage-backed securities.

Regional Innovation Goes Rural
July 12, 2010

One of the more gratifying aspects of the growing embrace not just by the Obama administration but Congress of regional innovation strategies (including those supporting regional industry clusters) has been the increased recognition among rural thinkers and actors that such strategies are in no way exclusively “urban” or cosmopolitan or high-tech. Now, that recognition on the rural side has yielded a solid gain.

Tremble, Banks, Tremble
July 09, 2010

The financial crisis in America isn't over. It's ongoing, it remains unresolved, and it stands in the way of full economic recovery. The cause, at the deepest level, was a breakdown in the rule of law. And it follows that the first step toward prosperity is to restore the rule of law in the financial sector. First, there was a stand-down of the financial police. The legal framework for this was laid with the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999 and the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000.

How To Kill An Ant
June 30, 2010

At the end of an op-ed denouncing financial reform, Republican Jeb Hensarling lays out his party's alternative approach: The answer to criminal greed on Wall Street is not more taxpayer bailouts, it is bankruptcy and more vigorous enforcement of our existing fraud and consumer protection laws. The fundamental truth is that the best way to prevent future taxpayer bailouts is to end taxpayer bailouts. Republicans proposed, and Democrats rejected, these and other reforms that would have ended "too big to fail" once and for all. That's their answer.

Am I Too Hard on Financial Reform?
May 27, 2010

[Guest post by Noam Scheiber:] The morning after the Senate approved its financial reform package last week, I wrote a piece suggesting that while the legislation should mitigate the too-big-to-fail (TBTF) problem, it isn’t likely to solve it. Not long after, I spoke with a Treasury official who protested that I was being uncharitable. After mulling over our conversation, I’ve decided he was right—I was a bit uncharitable. Perhaps more importantly, my critique was a little muddled, which made me sound more critical than I actually am.

November Prediction: Pain
May 06, 2010

A Gallup poll shows that the enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats seems to be narrowing: Jonathan Bernstein cites this as one reason why I might be too bearish on the Democrats' midterm prospects. Well, maybe.

Revolutionary Road
April 28, 2010

Washington—Maybe the next time someone calls Barack Obama a socialist, the president shouldn't issue a denial. He might instead urge his accuser to read the hearing transcript of this week's congressional testimony from the Goldman Sachs guys in their beautiful suits. Capitalism has not taken a hit like this since Mr.

Clusters COMPETE
April 26, 2010

For years now we and many others (ranging from the Harvard strategy guru Michael Porter, the Council on Competitiveness, and innovation scholar Rob Atkinson to the National Governor’s Association, the Rural Policy Institute, Stu Rosenfeld, the National Academies, and the Center for American Progress) have been urging that greater attention be paid to the crucial role that regional industry or “innovation” clusters can play in enhancing economic performance. The U.S., we have pointed out, lags other nations in fostering these distributed, “bottom-up” systems of business development, innovation,

Don't Ask, Don't Tell Being Repealed
April 23, 2010

So says Marc Ambinder: For 17 years, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy has grabbed thousands of gay soldiers by their collars and thrown them out of the military. By this time next year, that policy will be gone. Gay people will be openly serving in the United States Armed Forces. You might be forgiven for disbelieving that prediction, especially given the angry broadsides that gay rights activists are directing at the White House.