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Senator Elizabeth Warren pushes plan to break up big banks

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U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday called on lawmakers to break up big banks and change tax rules that benefit Wall Street, part of an ongoing effort to advance a more populist agenda.

The Massachusetts Democrat and longtime consumer advocate has sought this year to draw public attention to what she sees as the unfinished job of revamping Wall Street oversight after the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

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“We know what changes we need to make financial markets work better,” Warren said in a speech at a Washington conference focused on the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial oversight law. “The key steps aren’t hard.”

Warren has pushed a more consumer-focused agenda for Democrats, calling for raising the federal minimum wage and cutting federal student loan rates.

Hillary Clinton, a top candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, recently slammed hefty paychecks some corporate executives receive as an example of unfair inequality. Observers saw that as evidence of Warren’s influence on the party.

Warren said on Wednesday that regulators including the U.S. Federal Reserve and Securities and Exchange Commission had fostered a “slap on the wrist” culture. She said they should get tougher on big banks.

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She said lawmakers should crack down on banks by breaking them up and limiting the U.S. Federal Reserve’s ability to lend in a crisis so that big institutions cannot count on a bailout.

“When those banks are broken up and forced to bear the consequences of the risks they take on … regulatory oversight can be lighter and clearer as well,” Warren said.

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Big banks oppose efforts to break them up, saying their size makes them more efficient. Many Republicans have different ideas about preventing bailouts and view government-mandated size limits as unfair intervention in financial markets.

Warren said Congress could make tax code changes to urge financial firms to drop risky or unfair practices.

She called for closing a loophole that encourages big banks to pay executives big bonuses, creating incentives for companies to seek equity funding rather than debt, and taxing financial transactions to reduce market volatility.

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(Reporting by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘He’s crazy’: MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace says Trump’s confused behavior is getting ‘impossible’ to ignore

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MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace argued Friday on "Deadline: White House" that the signs of Trump's frazzled and sometimes disjointed mental state are becoming "impossible" to ignore.

She first pointed to a passage in the New York Times report on his Thursday night rally, which said:

His speech was at times a greatest hits album of favorite lines, replaying the 2016 campaign against Hillary Clinton and bashing the news media, Democrats and America’s allies in Europe. Typically rambling, veering on and off script seemingly at random over an hour and a half, he repeated points he had already made earlier in the evening as if he did not remember already making them.

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Trump’s DOJ tells Supreme Court it is legal to fire transgender workers

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The Trump administration on Friday informed the U.S. Supreme Court it is the opinion of the Dept. of Justice that it is legal under federal law for employers to fire transgender workers merely for being transgender.

The DOJ's brief states Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, does not apply to transgender workers.

In reporting the development Buzzfeed calls it one of the Trump administration's "most agressive steps yet to legalize anti-transgender discrimination."

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GOP leadership tells House Republicans to lie about white supremacist gun massacres – call it ‘violence from the Left’

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House Republican leadership has sent a memo to GOP members of Congress directing them to lie about right wing white supremacist gun massacres, and to call it "violence from the left."

The memo, which The Tampa Bay Times acquired, includes talking points for congressional Republicans to parrot when speaking with reporters or constituents. It instructs them on how to address questions about gun violence, including the domestic terrorism recently perpetrated in El Paso, Texas.

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