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?
When this past storm hit us, I went out no less than nine times to clear my property and my neighbor’s properties. When I arrived home on Thursday night, after working an 11-hour day, I found that once again the plows had gone through. At the end of my driveway was a large boulder of snow/ice (one piece about 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide) that the trucks had plowed there and left there. This was not able to be removed by a snowblower because it would have clearly damaged the machine. I sent an email to the mayor’s office requesting that they rectify the situation and asked for a call or an email telling me how they planned to fix it. Surprise, surprise, I never heard from anyone.So when I came home on Friday, I had to use an ax to chop it down. And thanks to a great neighbor, who used his snowblower to help me. Of course. this would not have been necessary if the job had been done correctly in the first place. The city’s response to this snowstorm was horrible. We pay extremely high taxes, and to have such a poor response is ridiculous. For the city not to respond to an email that was written in a very nice tone is unacceptable. What gives, Mr. Mayor?Lynn LaBargeSchenectadyTime for update to polarizing societyIronic, isn’t it? It’s nearly 2020. Nationally and globally, we are in a state of blossoming, and yet we are clinging to old systems, with no meaningful updates. Even my phone updates daily.We should be forming a council to consider starting again. Then, just maybe, democracy could grow stronger in its flexibility.If we continue to polarize, we will surely hemorrhage. There is ample evidence.Without difference, this whole world would be boring. Everyone is a beautiful expression of the whole, which in turn, is you. And we should all be spending more time reinforcing and harnessing that, in my humble opinion.Noah J. StisserEsperanceFree will is to blame for many injusticesThe Dec. 1 letter from Anthony Santos (“I see why evangelicals are drawn to Trump”) was disturbing. In a few paragraphs, he manages to vilify evangelists, the president and even God. He claims that the evangelistic mistaken belief in a good God is what makes it possible for them to accept President Trump as a viable leader. He contends that there is not a good God because a good God would not allow all the horrible evil and injustice that exists in the world.Apparently Mr. Santos is not familiar with the doctrine of free will even as he expresses his own. One of the greatest and very underappreciated gifts from the Creator to mankind is free will.Unfortunately it is also the source of mankind’s evil and injustice.Jim NorrisClifton ParkGrateful for care at Ellis for stroke scareOn Nov. 11, I had an incident at home while taking my morning medications. Suddenly I was unable to swallow; water and pills exited quickly.My husband quickly gave me a baby aspirin and we sped to Ellis Hospital (which is only 10 minutes from our home), where we were met by the Emergency Room nurse. I was taken into a room and quickly attended to. Everything happened quickly and efficiently. I was admitted to the C Wing 6th floor under the excellent care of Dr. Konstantin Timofeev in the Neuroscience Center. Fortunately, I did not have a stroke. I was treated with medications, observed overnight and released the next evening. I recovered well and am now back to normal. The staff said I did the right thing by seeking medical care immediately.I would like to thank the entire nursing staff, my night nurse Claudette, day nurse, Jade, and student nurse Victoria (who graduates in May) and all the nurses for their excellent care. They checked on me constantly. I received the best care from them. I am very fortunate that we live near such an excellent hospital with an excellent, caring staff. Thank you all.Mary CaterRotterdam Socialist ideals are helping AmericansThis is in response to Michael Sheedy’s Nov. 9 letter (“Stalin policies similar to Democrats’ plans.”)His comparisons to articles 120 and 121 of the Soviet Constitution are enlightening.The right to maintenance in old age or disability (Social Security?) ensured by the development of social insurance of workers and employees.Free medical insurance (ACA or Medicare expansion?).The right to education, compulsory at the elementary level and free at higher levels by a system of state stipends?I assume that Mr. Sheedy thinks that all of these things are evil socialist ideas and ideals — most of which we have currently here in the United States.Do so-called conservatives of his ilk really think that Social Security, disability, unemployment, compulsory education, and free or at least affordable medical care are bad ideas based on socialist concepts? Really? Then “Go Bernie.”Mark RuddimanSchenectadyCity’s snow removal issues are not newI feel sorry for the Schenectady residents and businesses that are dealing with snow plowing and removal in the city.Sad to say, it hasn’t changed from when we moved to our first house from Rotterdam to Harrison Avenue in Bellevue in 1967.Our first deep snow that winter was about 12-14 inches. After hand-shoveling a large shared driveway, I couldn’t get out because the road wasn’t cleared that day. Early on day two, the street still wasn’t plowed, and our oil furnace clogged and quit.I called Burmaster for help. The repair man just made it to our house only because he had a heavy truck with new snow tires.I called our city councilman at the time, Jim Devine. He downplayed the situation and explained that this was a normal circumstance. Coming from Rotterdam, I knew this was not the norm.After three years, we moved back to west Rotterdam.This past snowfall, our roads were cleared by 6:45 the first morning. Then they were continually addressed until the next day.The plow operators from the Rotterdam Highway Department did a great job in our neighborhood.I realize that snow removal in a development is not comparable to the city. The point is that the city response to snowstorms hasn’t changed in 50 years. Really?Bob LullSchenectadyAllow New Yorkers to die with dignityNew York state has been considering a Death with Dignity Law for several years.It is time for our elected officials to allow this option for New Yorkers who wish to have it. It would provide peace of mind and comfort to many people.The law would be there for those who want it.Those states that now have laws permitting physician aid in dying (PAD) offer terminally ill people a compassionate alternative. At this time, nine states and the District of Columbia permit physician aid in dying.That means that about 20% of Americans could avail themselves of PAD, if they wished. There have been no instances of abuse, and extensive safeguards are in place which guarantee the integrity of the process.Aid-in-dying laws are based on the idea that terminally ill people should have the right to make end-of-life decisions, to determine how much suffering and pain they endure, and to access the enormous psychological comfort that comes from having control over their death.Death with dignity laws allow mentally competent adults with a terminal illness or confirmed diagnosis of less than six months to live to request a prescription that will grant them a peaceful death.As a member of Final Exit Network, and as a supporter of Compassion and Choices, I have long worked to educate New Yorkers about end-of-life options.Control over one’s body is a basic right.No one should suffer a prolonged and agonizing death.Eleanor AronsteinSchenectady Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionCity’s response to storm was horrible More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes
GROS ISLET, ST LUCIA – AUGUST 10: In this handout image provided by CPL T20, St Lucia Stars celebrate the dismissal of Shoaib Malik of the Barbados Tridents during Match 8 of the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League between St Lucia Stars v Barbados Tridents at the Darren Sammy Stadium on August 10, 2017 in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia. (Photo by Ashley Allen – CPL T20 via Getty Images) GROS ISLET, St Lucia, CMC – Controversy rocked the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) after organizers tossed St Lucia Stars from the tournament, just three weeks before the start.While giving no reason for the move, CPL said in a statement it had last Wednesday (August 7) “terminated the participation agreement” with the company which operated the Stars and stressed the entity “no longer has the right” to manage a franchise in the tournament.The release said, “As a result of that termination, Royal Sports Club, LLC no longer has the right to operate a team to compete in the Caribbean Premier League tournament, and the St Lucia Stars will not be participating in the 2019 Caribbean Premier League, which begins on 4 September 2019.”With the tournament set to bowl off shortly, organizers said they were already setting up a new franchise, the details of which would be announced shortly.“CPL Limited is in the process of establishing and operating a new franchise to be based in St Lucia that will participate in the 2019 Caribbean Premier League,” the statement continued.“More information about that new franchise will follow in due course. CPL Limited will be making no further public comment at this time.”The Philadelphia-based Royal Sports Club, headed by Jay Pandya, was announced as owners of the St. Lucia franchise three years ago in what CPL at the time hailed as a “landmark day” for the operations.Then known as St Lucia Zouks, the franchise name was changed to St Lucia Stars the following year, and they subsequently ensured a nightmare winless campaign losing nine of their 10 matches.Popular national figure and two-time T20 World Cup-winning skipper, Darren Sammy, was sacked as captain that season and last year, Kieron Pollard left Barbados Tridents to lead the franchise.With Pollard departing for his native Trinbago Knight Riders for the upcoming season, Sammy was expected to lead the Stars again.