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  • Automatic Enrollment Builds Retirement Savings – Period.

    Adding automatic enrollment to a 401(k) retirement savings plan builds retirement savings. It especially helps lower and moderate income workers, but employees at all income levels start to save earlier, save more, and have better investment choices than similar plans without that mechanism. This simple fact is true despite some … More

    Deal with Fannie and Freddie Now or We'll Pay Later

    What’s the main selling point for the financial regulation bill Congress is debating? That it would end taxpayer bailouts. The Senate even added an amendment directly noting that the bill is intended to “prohibit taxpayers from ever having to bail out the financial sector.” But don’t breathe a sigh of … More

    In the Dodd Bill, "Bank" Could Mean Anyone

    The Dodd financial reform bill is beginning to scare executives. However, it is not necessarily scaring bankers or Wall Street fat cats. It is scaring motor cycle manufacturers, college presidents, retailers, car dealers, and even coffee shop executives. All of these people and more are waking up to the Dodd … More

    Senate Financial Regulation Bill: How Fast Can You Read 1,336 Pages?

    At 1,336 pages, the Dodd financial services regulation bill proposal, which the Senate Banking Committee will begin to consider today, includes language that could create a permanent bank bailout. It is also filled with other significant issues, any one of which could cause serious damage to the economy or consumers … More

    Taxing Banks to Pay for TARP: Just Playing Politics

    It is fun and politically profitable to attack banks and bankers, especially in the wake of a bailout program estimated to have cost American taxpayers some $150 billion. Given this, the plan floated yesterday by the Obama Administration to charge a “fee” (read tax) on financial institutions to cover losses … More

    Bernanke and Regulation: The Perils of Headline Writing

    Interpreting statements of Federal Reserve Chairmen has long been considered a high art form. During Alan Greenspan’s time, journalists and financial analysts made huge efforts to understand his cryptic comments on the economy, with the result that a few sentences could spawn literally pages of analysis designed to “explain” the … More

    Bankruptcy: A Better Answer to “Too Big to Fail”

    The financial reform bill that is currently before the House would give regulators virtually unlimited power over “too big to fail” financial institutions. Those are large, complex and usually international entities whose failure could cause such a shock to the interconnected financial system that others would be endangered. Under the … More

    Consumer Financial Protection: An Alternative

    Creating a new “Consumer Financial Protection Agency” (CFPA), as proposed in the financial regulation bill now before the House, would raise costs for consumers, reduce the number and type of products available to them, increase the micro-management of financial services firms, and greatly increase the confusion caused by differing and … More

    Mortgage Cramdowns Will Hurt Consumers

    Just as the housing market is showing definite signs that it is stabilizing after a lengthy drop in housing prices, the House of Representatives is about to vote on proposal that would destabilize it once again while also raising the cost of mortgages for future home buyers. The proposal – … More

    CIT Bankruptcy Shows that It is Time to End TARP

    Sunday, CIT Group, with $71 billion in assets one of the largest small business lenders in the country and the recipient last December of $2.3 billion in taxpayer money filed for bankruptcy. It was the fifth largest bankruptcy in US history. Monday, nothing much happened. Stocks didn’t collapse. There was … More