Posted by Staff on November 14, 2014
Full Committee Examines Terrorist Financing and the Islamic State
The Financial Services Committee examined ongoing U.S. efforts to stop the Islamic State (ISIL) and other terror groups from obtaining and deploying financial resources at a hearing on Thursday.
“Unlike al Qaeda and other terror groups with which we are familiar and rely mainly on private donations and state sponsorship to fund their activities, ISIL is almost entirely internally financed and apparently is sitting on assets of almost $2 billion," said Chairman Jeb Hensaring (R-TX).
"Fighting the financial war against terror will demand constant innovation and improvement. The tools we have used in the past may not be suitable for the future. I look forward to hearing from all the witnesses on what may be necessary to upgrade, innovate and improve our capabilities to starve the terrorists of the money they so desperately need to carry out their attacks," he added.
"One of the most effective ways the U.S. has disrupted terrorists in the past has been to cut off their financing, limiting their ability to plot and plan attacks. Thwarting the Islamic State's multiple revenue streams and their ability to spend money they already have may require new tactics. So today I'm looking forward to hearing exactly how we are identifying and blocking financial intermediaries that could keep Islamic State in a strong position," said Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN).
At the hearing, Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) said ISIL is able to generate funding through a variety of means “from selling oil on the black market, to taxing and extorting local businesses, to kidnapping for ransom...I look forward to working with my colleagues on this Committee to ensure the federal government uses every tool at its disposal to prevent ISIL from acquiring the funds to continue their reign of terror.”
Rep. Sean Duffy | ISIS Funding Network
U.S. Representative Sean Duffy (WI-07) talks to Bloomberg's Trish Regan about the ISIS funding network.
Weekend Must Reads
Washington Times | Wean business insurers off Terrorism Risk Insurance Act
There remains a need for a federal backstop against those catastrophic acts of terrorism that cannot be reasonably modeled or mitigated and whose size truly impacts our economy. However, today there is more capacity within insurance and reinsurance industries to cover far greater portions of this risk. There will be even more tomorrow, provided we put the act back on its transitional reform path.
Wall Street Journal | The Gensler Clean-Up
Under bipartisan pressure from Congress, it’s good to see that Mr. Massad is willing to acknowledge that the celebrated reforms now need to be reformed. But the errors were avoidable. These pages were not alone in warning for years that derivatives rules pursued by Mr. Massad’s predecessor, Gary Gensler, would punish Main Street along with Wall Street.
Wall Street Journal | Does the Fed Read the Election Returns?
All along, let’s face it, this set of priorities has been partly enabled by the Fed. At a speech in Paris on Friday, as fellow central bankers (even the French!) were talking about the need for deregulation and pro-market reforms, Ms. Yellen—the latest great enabler—continued to sing the praises of quantitative easing to solve all problems.
On the Horizon
November 18, 2014 2:00 p.m.
In the News
Wall Street Journal | Fannie Mae’s Profit Trap Comes Into View
Washington Times | New jobs numbers, same poor economy
Investor's Business Daily | Despite Gains In Jobs, Americans Aren't Convinced
Wall Street Journal | How to Distort Income Inequality
Politico Pro | Regional banks looking to Congress for relief
Bloomberg | Fannie-Freddie Regulator’s 3% Down Loans Draw Jeers
Posted by Staff on November 10, 2014
On Thursday at 10:00 a.m. the Full Committee will hold a hearing to examine terrorist financing and the Islamic State.
Posted by Staff on October 30, 2014
HORROR! SHOCK! DEVASTATION! Top-down regulations from Washington make it harder to have a growing economy on Main Street that creates good jobs. Yet each year Washington churns out page after page of new regulations, rules and red tape in the Federal Register. It’s become a MONSTER terrorizing Main Street! See for yourself…IF YOU DARE! #HappyHalloween
"It is time for all to take off partisan blinders and acknowledge the truth that Washington regulators aren’t always right and more red tape is not always the solution to every problem. It is time to hold Washington accountable." - Chairman Jeb Hensarling
Posted by Staff on October 20, 2014
Below are excerpts from the Wall Street Journal’s “Weekend Interview” with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX). The entire interview can be found here.
Hensarling on the Export-Import Bank
Posted by on October 02, 2014
Although this week’s Jeopardy! contestants couldn’t name the agency, the unaccountable CFPB is certainly making a name for itself in all the wrong ways.
Posted by Staff on September 29, 2014
President Obama recently voiced concerns about the negative impact of “endless regulations” in foreign countries. Millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans must be wondering why he isn’t as concerned about the economic harm caused by the “endless regulations” of his own administration here in the U.S.A.
While the American people are repeatedly told that nothing is getting done in Washington, struggling small business owners and entrepreneurs across our nation can only wish that were true. They know better than anyone that the Washington bureaucracy is busier than ever churning out red tape.
Washington set a new record in 2013 by issuing final rules consuming 26,417 pages in the Federal Register. Another 3,305 regulations are moving through the pipeline at the historic rate of roughly one new regulation every two hours.
Job number one of the Financial Services Committee is job creation and economic growth. That’s why the committee has passed dozens of bipartisan, pro-jobs bills during the 113th Congress. Yet Harry Reid has killed them, refusing to even bring them up for votes. Instead, he adds them to the pile of jobs bills collecting dust in the do-nothing Democrat-controlled Senate.
If President Obama truly cares about the harm caused by “endless regulations,” he should pick up the phone today, call Senator Reid and urge him to take action on these bipartisan jobs bills.
Posted by Staff on September 26, 2014
Currently, there are millions of Americans unemployed and underemployed in this struggling economy. And right now, job number one for the Financial Services Committee is job creation and economic growth. We have passed dozens of bipartisan, pro-jobs bills. OK, great. Now, they should pass through the Senate, right? Wrong. Senator Harry Reid has killed them off, refusing to even bring them up for votes and instead adds them to the pile of jobs bills collecting dust in the do-nothing Democrat-controlled Senate.
Your move, Senate.
During the 113th Congress, the House has passed 23 bipartisan, pro-jobs Financial Services Committee bills, including two that were approved by the House earlier this month with strong support from Republicans and Democrats. A list of those House-approved bills follows:
Posted by Staff on September 19, 2014
Subcommittee Examines the Financial Stability Oversight Council ("FSOC")
The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on Wednesday to examine FSOC's operations, policies, and procedures. The subcommittee discussed the FSOC's failure to address recommendations from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and highlighted the need for greater transparency and accountability.
"The FSOC may well be the least transparent federal entity in the government. Of the 42 meetings held, no substantive description of discussions or members' perspective have been provided in the meeting minutes. In fact, two-thirds of the meetings were held in executive session, completely closed off to the public," said Subcommittee Chair Patrick McHenry (R-NC). "Even Congress, which created the FSOC and its unprecedented authority under Dodd-Frank, has been denied access to their process."
"Therefore, it is not shocking that the GAO concluded that almost two years after its 2012 report, that the FSOC has not made satisfactory progress in terms of complying with many of its recommendations, including those intended to ensure that the FSOC has a comprehensive set of systemic risk indicators, whether or not it's coordinating and clarifying rules with OFR and other regulators, and whether or not it has the ability to assess adequately the effect of SIFI designations on the market and on the designated companies," added Chairman McHenry.
"We all want to see the process opened up; we want to see what's happening," said Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI). "I would look at the bipartisan effort and message that's been sent from this committee and go back and have a solid conversation and review the policies at FSOC."
Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick | House Approves Fitzpatrick Jobs Bill
“This is a jobs bill – by repealing and reforming burdensome regulations, we can set businesses and working capital free to invest in the economy and to create jobs,” Fitzpatrick said in a speech on the House floor.
Weekend Must Reads
Daily Caller | CFPB Is No ‘Start-Up’ Agency, It’s The Same Old Bureaucracy And Should Be Repealed
No one at the CFPB, for instance, can tell the Inspector General’s office who actually made the decision to renovate the building. So a board given the responsibility to protect the financial welfare of American consumers can’t even account for who authorized their own $215 million office space. Congress certainly didn’t. That’s because the CFPB, unlike a typical government agency, does not have to return to Congress every year for budgetary and spending approval. When Democrats forced the Dodd-Frank bill into law with the support of just a few Republicans, they made sure the CFPB was funded out of a fixed percentage of the Federal Reserve’s budget. This essentially placed the agency beyond the reach of one of Congress’s core constitutional powers as well as the oversight the annual appropriations process provides.
Investor's Business Daily | Fed Prepares To Raise Rates, End Failed QE Policy
As rates rise, big questions remain: Will the higher rates the Fed is engineering sink the economy? Will we see unemployment return to recession levels? It doesn't seem likely. And yet, in 2008, if someone had told you that the Census Bureau would report in September 2014 that median income had shrunk 8.2% over the preceding five years, and only those with the highest incomes would see any gains at all, you might have thought that person was crazy. Well, it happened. Thanks to President Obama's misbegotten economic policies and "stimulus," and the Fed's own radical experiment in money printing, the U.S. has had its worst recovery ever from a recession. To its credit, perhaps, the Fed is now quietly trying to undo its failed experiment, by letting markets set interest rates and shutting down the QE program. If so, it's a minor victory for common sense and policy prudence.
In the News
American Banker | House Lawmakers Press FSOC for More Transparency
Wall Street Journal | Yellen's Discretion
Wall Street Journal | Dodd-Frank's Collateral Damage in Africa
Wall Street Journal | The Outlook: Fed Sizes Up Alternate Rate-Hike Paths
Posted by Staff on September 12, 2014
Subcommittee Reviews the Credit Reporting System
On Wednesday the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee held a hearing to review the roles and responsibilities of consumer reporting agencies.
"According to the FTC, nearly 20% of Americans have errors on their credit report. Furthermore, 5% of Americans have errors that could expose them to higher interest rates or lose access to consumer credit through no fault of their own," said Subcommittee Chair Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). "Today we will learn more about the systems that credit bureaus have in place to resolve discrepancies on a consumer credit report. We must work together to ensure that consumers who have legitimate discrepancies on their credit report can have them removed as quickly as possible."
Rep. Mick Mulvaney | Mulvaney on the CFPB
Rep. Mulvaney tells the Credit Union Times the CFPB is “a wonderful example of how a bureaucracy will function if it has no accountability to anybody.”
Weekend Must Reads
Investor's Business Daily | These 5 Facts Debunk U.S. Jobs Recovery Myth
The purpose of this exercise isn't to bash President Obama. But it's curious that someone whose policies have so clearly failed would double down on his mistakes, prolonging America's economic misery. Despite 0% interest rates, $7 trillion in added debt, more than $1.5 trillion in stimulus, and the Fed creating more than $4.5 trillion in new money out of thin air, our economy just stumbles along. Those hoping for a sudden burst of job-creating growth aren't likely to see it until there's a change in Washington. Until then, keep the champagne on ice.
Real Clear Markets | How Long Can the Economy Absorb Excessive Government Spending?
Few people would continue borrowing to spend beyond their means. Even if so inclined, consequences quickly eliminate this as a viable option. People would be even more loathe to let an outside entity garnish their wages indiscriminately (which is what taxation is to the economy) to pay for it. Most would succumb to the consequences, and their senses, and align spending with income.
Investor's Business Daily | Dodd-Frank Now Coming For The Insurers
Onerous Dodd-Frank rules aimed at banks are now being imposed on insurance companies and other nonbanks that had virtually nothing to do with the financial crisis. And they're being foisted on them by a regulatory body made up of a bunch of political hacks who have no idea how insurance companies are even run.
In the News
Politico Pro | Growing turmoil at CFPB union
American Banker | Small Institutions Could Be Hurt by Operation Choke Point: Lawmakers
Wall Street Journal | The SEC's New 'Thought Crime'