Regulators Accepted Gifts From Oil Industry, Report Says
WASHINGTON—Employees of a federal agency that regulates offshore drilling—including some whose duties included inspecting offshore oil rigs—accepted sporting-event tickets, meals, and other gifts from oil and natural-gas companies and used government computers to view pornography, according to a new report by the Interior Department's inspector general.
The report—published Tuesday on the inspector general's website—describes a culture in which inspectors assigned to the Lake Charles, La., office of the Minerals Management Service have moved with "ease" between jobs in industry and government, drawing on relationships that formed "well before they took their jobs" with the agency.
5. The new Consumer Protection Agency at the FED turns out to be a consumer spy agency it seems.Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/25/2010 20:38 +0300
If anyone has been curious why the Fed, banks and politicians have all been pushing for the "consumer protection" portion of the Financial Regulation bill, it appears we may have the answer. As CNSNews.com reports, the bill "would create the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and empower it to “gather information and activities of persons operating in consumer financial markets,” including the names and addresses of account holders, ATM and other transaction records, and the amount of money kept in each customer’s account. The new bureaucracy is then allowed to “use the data on branches and [individual and personal] deposit accounts … for any purpose” and may keep all records on file for at least three years and these can be made publicly available upon request." And quoting verbatim from the Bill: "[T]he Bureau shall have the authority to gather information from time to time regarding the organization, business conduct, markets, and activities of persons operating in consumer financial services markets." Goodbye privacy, hello 1984.
6. The bank puppets in Senate and Congress are doing a fantastic jobs watering the bill towards zero - frontrunners are Dodd Schumer and Frank for VIP memberships in the hall of shame
By Alison Vekshin
May 25 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Representative Barney Frank, who will lead congressional talks to produce a financial-regulation bill, said Senate language that would require commercial banks to wall off their swaps-trading operations “goes too far.”
Frank’s comments today at a conference in Washington are the latest indication that the contentious swaps-desk provision may not survive final negotiations over the legislation.
A separate measure in the Senate bill that would restrict banks’ proprietary trading -- the so-called Volcker rule named for former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker -- may address concerns targeted by Senator Blanche Lincoln’s swaps-desk plan, Frank said.
“I don’t see the need for a separate rule regarding derivatives, because the restriction on banks engaging in proprietary activity would apply to derivatives,” said Frank, who leads the House Financial Services Committee.
Banks should be able to use derivatives to hedge risks for themselves and their customers, Frank said.
The Massachusetts Democrat will lead a bipartisan panel of lawmakers assigned to merge the House and Senate versions of legislation that will overhaul rules governing Wall Street. The House approved its version of the bill in December and the Senate approved its measure last week.