Judging by the bill moving through the Senate with bipartisan support, it is to grant regulatory relief to small banks while letting some big ones, but not the biggest, go along for the ride.Specifically, banks with less than $10 billion in assets would be exempt from the Volcker rule, a ban on trading risky securities; and the level of assets at which banks are considered systemically risky and subject to stricter capital requirements and other crisis-prevention rules would grow from $50 billion to $250 billion.The effect of the latter change would be to relax crisis-prevention controls on 26 of the 38 biggest banks in the United States, though the Federal Reserve could adjust that in certain cases.The bill will certainly please much of the financial sector, especially politically influential community banks; but this is not the same as saying it is wise.The failure of one or more $200 billon banks could pose systemic risks. Nor is it necessary.Community banks — 92 percent of federally insured institutions — are generally doing fine, according to the latest Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. statistics, which show that lending grew among these institutions during 2017, and that fourth-quarter net income would have increased 17 percent from a year ago but for one-time income tax charges.Indeed, bank stability and profitability had both recovered in recent years under Dodd-Frank, as has the economy as a whole, thus calling into question the bank lobby’s claim that deregulation is vital to restored growth. Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe following editorial appeared in The Washington Post:“We’re going to be doing a big number on Dodd-Frank,” President Donald Trump promised in the early days of his administration, implying imminent achievement of the long-standing Republican goal of repealing, or gutting, the signature financial reform law of President Barack Obama’s tenure.What Trump neglected to mention, of course, is that the only relevant number, big or small, was 60. That’s how many senators it would take to pass new legislation. Republicans could change Dodd-Frank only to the extent consistent with attracting sufficient Democratic votes. Now we’re finding out what the lowest common denominator may be. A case could be made that further toughening of capital requirements for the largest banks is in order and that Democrats should have insisted on it as the price of regulatory relief for small ones.Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari advocates a 38 percent equity capital minimum — which could force the giants to break up.You don’t have to agree with Kashkari to worry nevertheless that the Senate bill sets a precedent for the biggest institutions to demand lower capital requirements the next time Congress takes up the issue.For now, that doesn’t seem politically possible; the Senate bill could represent the high-water mark of this Republican deregulatory wave.The House financial deregulation bill, which really would gut Dodd-Frank, has no chance of attracting enough Democratic support to pass the Senate.Though weakened, the basic Dodd-Frank regulatory framework might just survive two years of Republican control of the presidency and Congress, which certainly beats the alternative.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?
GUEST BLOG: Sen. Casey: As a Father, the Sexual Assault Crisis on College Campuses Is Personal It’s On Us PA, The Blog As a father to four daughters, including one in college, the sexual assault crisis on college campuses is personal. Every time a college student is the victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, we as a nation have failed that student. We must continue to build healthy, safe communities where students can learn and grow without fear, and where victims are provided immediate assistance and perpetrators are appropriately punished. As elected officials, but also as fathers, Governor Wolf and I take this responsibility seriously. On campuses, we must all step up to do the right thing: intervene before a problem occurs; promote dialogue and respect among members of the campus community; provide support and justice to victims.Throughout the past year, I have visited several college campuses in Pennsylvania to discuss the implementation of my Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (Campus SaVE) Act, which I passed into law as part of the Violence Act Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) in 2013. The Campus SaVE Act improves how campus communities respond to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. It helps to empower students and employees to end unhealthy relationships and seek assistance. Institutions must have clearly defined policies for reporting and conduct campus disciplinary proceedings. The Campus SaVE act targets this issue from the most crucial angles – improving prevention efforts and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, motivating everyone in the community to become involved in asserting that violence and abuse will not be tolerated, and ensuring that victims are supported.Each college I visited was working to comply with the Campus SaVE Act. After each visit, I was encouraged by the partnerships institutions are building to strengthen their community and keep students safe. Now that the law has been implemented for a school year, I look forward to continuing my dialogue with students and administrators to learn more about how the legislation is working, and what improvements can be made.Governor Wolf has also taken steps to eliminate campus sexual assault with the ‘It’s On Us PA’ campaign, which is the first statewide effort to address this crisis. Governor Wolf has made connections with over 50 rape crisis centers across the state who are ready to work with colleges and universities in Pennsylvania. This campaign will empower citizens in Pennsylvania to keep our students safe and end the scourge of sexual assault on college campuses.This crime is an ongoing crisis to which we must respond urgently and with compassion for victims. Those who commit sexual assault must be held fully accountable, and those who stand by must be empowered to speak up and support their peers. Everyone in the community must step up and work together. That is what Governor Wolf and I are doing at the state and federal level. By promoting the Campus SaVE Act and the ‘It’s On Us Campaign,’ we are one step closer to ensuring safety for all students on college campuses. June 13, 2016 By: U.S. Senator Bob Casey Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf SHARE Email Facebook Twitter