Top Ten Financial Reform Loopholes

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Ezra Klein points us to a White House list of “The 10 Most Wanted Lobbyist Loopholes,” and it’s good reading. Here are my top four from the list:

5. Removing the Derivatives Trading Requirement to Protect Wall Street Profits.

6. Stretching the Derivatives “End-User” Exemption into a Hedge Fund Loophole.

7. Creating an “AIG Loophole.”

9. Letting Firms Make Loans Without Skin in the Game.

Why these four? Because they’re all related to limiting leverage. #5 is related because clearinghouses would require collateral for derivatives trades. #6 because it keeps the clearing requirement robust. (Clearing is a subset of exchange trading, and I assume that it’s the clearing requirement that the White House is really interested in here.) #7 because it would extend capital requirements to at least parts of the shadow banking sector. And #9 because it effectively limits leverage at both the consumer level and the mortgage originator level.

But the whole list is worth reading. Even in its current state the Senate bill is only OK, not great. Holding the lobbyists at bay is the minimum requirement for keeping it even that good.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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