Dodd-Frank Isn’t Legislation; It’s a Comedy

73 | By Shah Gilani

In last week’s Insights & Indictments, in my commentary on all the letters sent to the SEC about the proposed Volcker Rule, I not-so-casually commented that the Volcker Rule “shouldn’t exist at all.”

And then I called the parents of the Volcker Rule, the Dodd-Frank Act, a “joke.”

Well, by the amount of comments I got back from I&I readers – right now, there are about 95,000 of you (and counting) – you’d think I was talking about something really controversial, like contraception, for heaven’s sake.

Talk about passionate!

I understand that people get passionate about contraception. After all, without all that passion, we wouldn’t need contraception.

But me being passionate about the birth of the Volcker Rule, which I said should never had been conceived, apparently caused a lot of you to think I crossed some moral line.

Not me! I’m not one to ever say anything controversial! And I’m certainly not the kind of guy to wade into the contraception debate.

But, if I was, I’d be a strong advocate for it.

The unwelcome birth of the Volcker Rule is a good example…

If the inflamed passion of those two preening peacocks, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, was sheathed before their love of public attention (and private whoring to special interests) forced them into the “Act” (I’m talking about the Dodd-Frank Act; get your mind out of the gutter), then we wouldn’t have this the bastard-child whose future we are debating.

Actually, though, it’s not that we have the Volcker Rule that’s an issue. It’s the affair between its parents that’s the issue.

There was no happy marriage in Dodd-Frank. It was always a sham.

The Act itself isn’t a marriage certificate, proving a passionate love for the public interest over private banking and financial services.

It’s nothing less than a living will pre-nup that guarantees infidelity everywhere between the sheets it’s dirtied in its making.

By “sheets,” I mean sheets of paper. Dodd-Frank is 848 pages long.

By comparison, it is 23 times longer than the 37-page Glass-Steagall Act, the sensible 1930s legislation that separated deposit-insured commercial banks from risk-taking investment banks and was aborted by Congress in 1999.

Don’t get me started on that…!

All I’ll say is that Dodd-Frank is really an attempt to put Humpty Dumpty (Glass-Steagall) back together again, with the biggest pieces missing.

Just How Ridiculous is Dodd-Frank?

It’s not legislation. It’s not a passion play. It’s a comedy.

It mandates 87 “studies,” of which only 37 have been “completed.”

I just read in The Economist that, according to super-powerhouse law firm Davis Polk (believe me, they are good!), “only 93 of the 400 rulemaking requirements mandated by Dodd-Frank have been finalized.”

If you don’t understand the significance of enacted legislation that isn’t yet written, the Volcker Rule is a perfect example.

The Volcker Rule is a part of Dud-Frankenstein (I mean Dodd Frank, or D-F, as in…). And it, alone, is some 298 pages (or dirty “sheets”) long.

It was written by four of the five agencies charged with writing and enacting it. The fifth agency, the CFTC, wrote its own 489-page proposal on what should be in the Volcker Rule.

Good thing all our regulatory agencies all work together, right? Good thing they don’t all have their own fiefdoms and competing political agendas, right?

Anyway, Davis Polk says that the Volcker Rule includes 383 questions that themselves result in 1,420 sub-questions. The firm has created an interactive Volcker “rule map” that, according to the magazine, it produced for its clients – as well as 355 “distinct steps” for them to follow.

So, I ask you, this bad marriage, this sham affair, this monster Dud-Frankenstein that birthed the Volcker Rule, or son-of-DF…

Is this any way to legislate?

The Whole Exercise is Another Form of “Extend and Pretend”

Last week, when commenting on the Volcker Rule, I called President Obama “spineless.”

A lot of you didn’t like that either. (Of course, some of you loved it.)

What I was pointing to was that the President came into power with an OVERWHELMING American mandate (and a global mandate, for that matter) to clean up Wall Street and to protect us from what had just happened, ever happening again.

So did he take immediate action upon entering office? No.

Instead of striking while the iron was hot, the President pandered to Wall Street special interests (after all, he had accepted tens of millions of dollars from them in election funds) by pretending to attack banks and bankers, all the while extending the day of reckoning and the writing (if you can call it that) of any legislation to stomp out Wall Street abuses.

And lo and behold, we got Dodd-Frank.

We got shafted.

So today we get to pretend that laws were written (most were not, and never will be, and the ones that are written, like the Volcker Rule, well, you see what’s happening there), while banksters get to extend the time it takes to enact anything meaningful just long enough to get markets to reach new highs and the focus of discussion shifts from what Wall Street hath wrought, to contraception.

So go ahead, get mad at me for bringing up contraception. After all, can’t you see that I’m just trying to divert the conversation?


P.S. At overwhelming request from you guys, we’re now going to have “share” buttons attached to every I&I article. You can find them along the left side of each article on the website, or at the bottom of each email. Whether it’s email, Facebook, Twitter, or anything else, I encourage you to “share” to your heart’s content.

73 Responses to Dodd-Frank Isn’t Legislation; It’s a Comedy

  1. Ed Nussbaum says:

    I have long advocated that we bring back Glass-Steagal. 37 pages that anyone could read and comprehend is far better than the collusive monstrous legislation now on the books. We wouldn’t need great bureaucracies to study, dress up and implement it.

  2. ProfTom says:

    The 2008 mess was entirely caused by the banking industry. Never forget.

    The bailouts are FOR the banking industry to minimize their losses. This is largely true in Europe now also, I think. The extend/pretense give the bankers more time to minimize losses.

    The banks have to be regulated much better than they are, and quite clearly they cannot accomplish it themselves.

    If Dodd-Frank is weaker than we’d like, or weaker than Gilani would like, he’s probably right.

    I hate this movie!

    • David McDonald says:

      If the banking industry has “entire” responsibility for ’08, it’s a result of government required home lending to unqualified buyers, thus the involvement of worthless federally backed mortgage securities.

  3. Don Fishgrab says:

    We elect Congress to govern our country according to our wishes. It is a breach of their fiduciary duties when they vote to enact a law such as Dodd-Frank or Obama care even before the law has been written. The only reason for making the laws so long and involved is to provide loopholes and exclusions for special interests and conceal them.

  4. John Parken says:

    Shah, if we didn’t have someone like you to expose the ROTTEN dealings going on between Washington and Wall Street, 99% of us would have no idea what goes on in the “hallowed halls” of Congress! I have personally sent some of your articles to my Representative in Congress, and I have warned him that the Tea party will be using a large broom this fall to sweep out these slugs who vote for legislation that does not benefit their constituents (unless they are lobbyists!). Right now, I will prefer NOT to vote for my incumbent Republican in Congress. He’s voted correctly on most things, but there are a few that make me sick — e.g., the so-called STOCK Act (which will allow the Wall Street lobbyists and other vermin) to trade on knowledge gained in the halls of Congress. Talk about hypocrisy! It won’t take a whole lot more to see a REAL revolution take place again in this country!

    • dennis megdal says:

      I agree with most of what you say, but this kind of information is disclosed
      in many other places besides Shah,s commentaries. I hope you don’t seriously believe what you wrote about the Tea Party. When those politicians run for re-election they will need the support of big money, and have the same obligations as the rest of their motley crew. And they haven’t really changed anything yet.

      • John Parken says:

        Dennis, I have no arguments with you, but I do believe that the ONLY way to get our country back is to oust the scum now in Washington. I don’t really care if they are Democrats or Republicans. The one they they all have in common is MONEY! You’re right, it’s the big money! And the only way out of this mess is to LIMIT the big money. We need to have referendums on two main Constitutional Amendments – Limit the amount of money any single entity (person, corporation, PAC, etc) to $500. Let’s see how much influence that can buy! The second amendment we need to pass is very simple — Congress shall make no law from which it excludes itself. Until we take the money out of DC, we (the electorate) will continue to head straight down the river to oblivion, while the politicians continue to enrich themselves. How many Congressmen/women leave Washington poorer than when they arrived?? Most leave as millionaires, if they weren’t millionaires already. That should tell you all you need to know about Washington.

  5. Terry Hamm-Morris says:

    As a true cynic, I love your sarcastic articles. Although it’s a fruitless effort to enlighten enough people to make a difference, keep writing. If nothing else it irritates the Obama “kool aid” drinkers. Can’t understand why people cannot understand facts that are placed before them, it’s as though casting pearls before swine.

  6. Terrence Trivett says:

    Shah: Isn’t there someway for you to galvanise support on this website for bringing back Glass-Steagall? Some way to put some meaningful legislation on the national agenda in this election year? It would be a wonderful public service if you could pull it off. Please!

    • Veronica says:

      I wholeheartedly support this last comment – bring back Glass-Seagall !!!!
      we need a movement to make that happen – I am watching the shannanigans going on and
      getting more and more sickened by the behaviour of this government !!
      Rise up people and let’s clean up the whole mess !!

      • Gary Barber says:

        Good idea on resurrecting Glass-Stegall. While you’re at it, Shah, how about generating some support for TERM LIMITS for members of Congress. It may be too late to save this country as there are already more people “in the wagon” than there are pulling it. Obama learned a valuable lesson by observing the “campaign tactics” employed by one of his heroes, Hugo Chavez: Promise the underachievers that you’ll take from those who have achieved and parcel it out to them. Do you honestly believe that those “in the wagon” WON’T vote for him this coming November? That wagon will be even more overloaded, I’m afraid, in the years to come, thus perpetuating the gravy train for the wagon’s passengers, with an even greater burden placed on those left pulling it. Those politicians who refuse to swap votes for giveaways (are there truly any?) are doomed to lose to their opponent(s) who will be only too happy to give someone else’s money away in order to get elected. And the beat goes on… TERM LIMITS!!!
        Great article, Shah. Keep it up!

        • J Moran says:

          Yes I agree with term limits and we should look to the great state of IL for guidance on this issue, since they have set the precedent for future terms to be served by their governors and other politicians after serving in office

  7. Brian Rapson says:





    • Adrian VanEss says:

      Brian, anyone who types in all caps will never be taken seriously…. it’s annoying and also rule #1 on the internet…. CAPS means YELLING!

    • Larry Cope says:

      It would be nice if you’d clean up your language and avoid being so harshly critical, good man. You’re a cop, and I’m sure you’ve done much good in the world today. Larry Cope, Columbia, SC

  8. Arthur Harrington says:

    You live up to the name of your newsletter, Shah! Your insights are spot-on. Anybody who finds your statement about the Volcker Rule and the entirety of Dodd-Frank being anything but a shallow deception aimed at pacifying the masses must be a part of those naive sheeple who continue to believe that Washington and Wall Street are home to the tooth fairy and Santa Claus.

    Keep-up to top-notch work. You are one of the very few fighting to restore some sense of integrity to the vision of our founding fathers.

  9. Bob R. says:

    Thanks for shedding some light into the corner that will hopefully cause the cockroaches to scramble. Obviously we need to repeal Dodd-Frank and restore Glass-Steagall. Unfortunately that will never get past the Financial Industry who actually wrote D-F and the bought and paid for Congress who passed it. You’re correct about the ‘spineless’ comment and it applies to the whole mess in D.C. This used to be a great country, too bad it sold itself to the highest bidder!

  10. Robert Roark says:

    This article is “right on”…couldn’t have said it so graphically my self, and I imagine that most people will agree that obscenity is in the eyes (minds) of the beholders.
    How can we expect people to take the time to become educated, when they get their “facts” on the evening news…instead of from “Democracy Now”…I hope that you will get an interview from Amy Goodman sometime soon…you must be near the “Firehouse Studio”, so please send some of your articles to her. She would love to hear from a Wall Street Insider”…you are one of those, aren’t you?

  11. Gary Phillips says:

    Is it any wonder that Obama was elected? And who put him in office? Obama has accomplished things for the bankers and PTB that a republican president never could have enacted. And he has so angered a good portion of the democratic base and independents, that he has come close to being unelectable.

    I’m 65 and I have always voted democratic. Not this year. Now the conservative base is so enlivened that we will likely get a completely radical conservative president that what Bush and Obama failed to accomplish for the corporate fascist agenda will be swept through congress and the presidency like a knife through butter.

    And when the OWS crowd object, they will be thrown in FEMA camps, with the support of the enraged mob. End of democracy as we know it.

    • Wayne says:

      Gary Phillips, you are 65 and you are thinking about voting Republican?!!!! Before you make such a mistake look at the Republican focus on Social Security. If we get a Republican President and a Republican controlled Congress, we will soon have a Social Security program that is controlled by Wall Street or eliminated all together in order to balance the budget. And unenlightened people want to call SS an “entitlement” but is is something that we (the working class) were mandated to pay into and yes we are entitled to. There is something wrong with a government that wants to take from the poor and elderly to give to the RICH.

      • ray aronson says:

        Wayne……it is without a doubt that the entitlement programs need to be adjusted, most especially Medicare. Is there any clear-headed, rational human that does not understand this? For these programs, only the Rep’s are mentioning possible solutions to the crisis; such as, for SS, it would mean raising the age limits (again). The Dem’s, of course, are silent on the issue of entitlements – they would rather see the country go down in a death spiral before they would take a chance on losing voters.

        • American Zombie Party says:

          Um, no. If the USA did not have some of the civilized world’s lowest tax rates for millionaires and the world’s largest military to fight wars on multiple continents, entitlements would not be an issue at all. Obviously, a welfare state is stupid, but taking care of our elderly, our poor, and making sure everybody has access to healthcare is right thing to do, and if we were willing to adjust our priorities accordingly, totally doable.

        • bill says:

          and the Greed party would rather continue to fund the military/industrial complex than do anything to rebuild the American middle class. Opposing contraception is about as crazy as preaching abstinence. Time to get real.

          • John Parken says:

            No one on the Republican side is opposing contraception! It’s all about who PAYS for it! Don’t you read and listen??? Who the hell does Obama think he is by mandating that the Catholic Church has to provide FREE contraception? No one annointed him King, at least the last time I looked. Then says that “oh, I was wrong about that. We’ll make the insurance companies provide it for FREE”. WHAT?? Open you eyes and ears and learn. This is just another small step to eliminating the insurance industry in the USA and having the government be the ONLY insurer in town. Geez, wake up!

      • Walter says:

        Wayne, just who is leading the parade cutting the funds that are used for the payment that you are entitled to? What are the ones who are no longer paying the higher amounts to their “retirement” fund going to get? Will it be reduced? The “Dems” are doing exactly what you are accusing athe Republicans of doing. No money in retirement fund, what is going to happen?

  12. ray aronson says:

    Shah………..Love all your writings.

    I expected nothing less from this administration. The most significant tragedy by Obama was that he had a shot at being the greatest President ever and instead of acting on the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression, he had the Democratic majority controlled CONgress waste one full year on the abortion known as Obamacare, which was the only major legislation in history that was not supported by a bipartisan CONgress, AND that the majority of citizens rejected it. Since that time, all efforts were to pursue the far-left dogma.

    Barney Frank should be in jail for his part in the housing collapse, along with many in the financial arena.

    Moral decay at every level has infested not only the U.S., but every corner of the globe.


  13. Tom Pollan says:

    Hello Shah,

    First, the obvious: It’s your news letter and you get to say whatever you want.

    Second, I agree with you concerning the D-F act…it is a sham. It was written to be watered down.

    Third, I agree with you on contraception….for whatever that is worth. I am a practicing Catholic but have no problem disagreeing with The Church when it comes to dogma that makes little sense. I wonder if abstinence is considered contraception…..hmmm???

    Fourth, hang tough. I enjoy your analogies. But if they start to cause you too much pain, just stick to market analysis which is really what people want from you.

    Fifth, this is actually Rule # 1 when it comes to social media which you seem to be encouraging via “sharing”: never, ever argue with your customer. Empathize, correct the issue if warranted and move on. Otherwise a “firefight” ensues and that will take way too much of your time and distract you from what is really important (to your readers)….your analysis.


    • Paul says:

      The USA already had a second revolution. The one that really changed this country and our lifestyle is referred to as the Civil War. The second revolution canceled the people’s right to govern themselves through responsive, observable,local state governments. The war needlessly sent more citizens to their death than all our other US wars. The result of the second revolutionary war was the US citizenry being ruled by a foreign government in the far off land of Washington, DC.
      This government is opaque, self-serving and unresponsive. Granted, we send local legislators to Washington, supposedly to represent our interests. However, the oligopolised press does little to let us know how our representatives legislate, so state representatives get sucked into DC politics and lose contact with their constituents.
      In this nation’s second revolutionary war we lost the right to self govern. A third revolutionary war may be what we face. That would be bad.
      Would the cause of a revolution be the power of the two party system? Can two parties, Democratic vs Republican, really represent the plurality of citizens in this vast and diverse country?
      Through today’s culture of death(war/abortion) and fear(of terrorism) our political parties try to scare votes out of us. They need our votes to legitimize government that is not of, for, or by the people.
      Don’t vote for anyone in any office who doesn’t run on a platform that fits all your principles. If you can’t find a candidate on the ballot who does that, write one in. If you can’t think of anyone to write-in, run for the office yourself. After all, those that refuse to lead must suffer the governance of others.

  14. r d keene says:

    It appears to me and I live in Mexico where I watch what is going on from a distance that my beloved USA is so unbelievable corrupt that there is no hope for any meaningful change. I love it when my fellow Americans say to me, “how can you live in Mexico with all of its corruption and violence?” and all I can say is, “when was the last time you looked in the mirror?” When 42-43% of the people receiving Social Security, Medicare and unemployment don’t know that the money they receive comes from their government we as a nation, after all I am still an American no matter how embarrassing, are in terrible shape. Do they think the money comes from some sky god? Should these people be allowed to vote? Procreate?
    I have many Canadian friends down here and they just shake their heads in wonder at he circus that is our country….I imagine I will receive death threat from some Americans for saying what I’m saying….and, of course, there is always the fear I will be indefinitely detained for speaking truth to the powers that be….I certainly hope not. God bless us all. rdkeene

  15. Elaine Nussbaum says:

    You are so right-on. I applaude you. Now, if I can only get my liberal college educated son to wake up to economic reality I would really be happy. Keep these great analyses coming.

  16. david bates says:

    Yes, they write something 848 pages long that they hope only they can comprehend. We need to take the power back to the people, American poeple, that is.
    Someone very intelligent once wrote, “If you let me control your money, I can control your country”
    I don’t want them (Congress) controlling my country.

    • J Moran says:


      The quote you are referring to might be this:
      “He who controls the money supply of a nation controls the nation” – James Garfield

      A quote that seems to have found its time is: “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” – Benjamin Franklin

      And this quote: “Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.” – Josef Stalin
      was probably witnessed by the voters of NV in Nov 2010, where Harry Reid, who was losing by a very large margin according to the exit polls and was declared the winner.

      One last quote that I find fitting to this whole group assembled in DC today: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair

      It’s amazes me, we have all this wealth of knowledge in quotes and history books yet here we are today, on the cusp of another 87 to 90 year cycle for a world depression. Why are we unable to avoid these cycles?

  17. Phil Rourk says:


    You’re not only smart, knowledgeable and apparently sincere, you’re also very funny! Thanks for bringing a little humor to bear on as tawdry a subject of Sex in our Capital City.



  18. Gerald says:

    I agree with the previous comment , you do a great job of putting things in perspective with a little humor ( sarcasm actually ) attached. The sad thing is that although we as readers are privy to this knowledge , the majority of the country is mired in CNBC style “diversion” and ignorance. Its scary to realize that we may be at the point of no return with all this.

  19. J. Wise says:

    Keep up the nice informational work. Anxiously wait for each of your writings. Really like hearing the TRUETH, instead of a lot of spin and hot air with no meaning behind it. (LIES). Thanks

  20. Wayne says:

    Our government has become a farce that has no resemblance to the government that was conceived by our founding fathers. Instead it has become a body of Congresspeople who have been “bought and paid” for by Wall Street, “Too Big To Fail” banks, and multinational corporations. They are no longer in touch with the reality of the “middle class” and have instead set themselves up as the “elite” class. They are a PERMANENT POLITICAL CLASS who believe they are “above the law” and “entitled” to “special” privileges. And we (the voters) have let them get away with this. If we (the voter) are willing to accept this kind of government, then that is the kind of government we deserve.

    There are many good books that expose how Congress has let the American public down as they have sole their vote to Wall Street and “special” interest groups and even how they have used their office for their own profit. I would suggest three: Winner Take All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer And Turned It’s Back On The Middle Class by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, Throw Them All Out by Peter Schweizer, and Greedy Bastards by Dylan Ratigan. These books will be a real eye opener and will show you why we need to THROW THEM ALL OUT.

    The public is focused on the Presidential candidates this year. But that is not where the real focus should be. That is not where the real change will have any effect. No matter who we elect as President in 2012, if we have the same Congress, we will have little or no change in our government. Because the real problem IS Congress. And both political parties hope that we (the voter) will get caught up in the political rhetoric of the Presidential race and forget about making any change in the way Congress does business. And believe me, THEY DO DO BUSINESS. And we (the voter) need to change they way they do that business.

    But there is no process whereby we (the voter) can make a clean sweep of Congress at one time. So IT WILL TAKE TIME. And maybe that will be better anyhow. We (the voter) deserve a government that represents US instead of Wall Street and “special” interests. The only way we can get that government is at the ballot box. So we (the voter) need to resolve that we will NOT vote for any incumbent Congressperson when they come up for reelection until we have gotten a Congress that is dedicated to the interest of the majority, the “real” American people. We can do this, but we need to be dedicated and vigilant and not be fooled by political rhetoric.

  21. Ron Mason says:

    We are all responsible for the problems involving government policies, past financial problems but we continue to do as humans do, find someone or thing to blame other than our on individual and collective selves.
    1. Who ever thought you could buy a home without making at least a 20% down payment. Congress said we could but just because they are stupid do we all have to jump off the building. The day, mostly democrates and republicans approved the need for everyone in America to own a home we set the course for our financial problems of 2008. Congressmen and Presidents and cabinets and all of government together decided that it was a God given right that everyone own a home. (It was the democratic party’s athem for years). Just like mostly Democrats say today, every child has a right to go to college. Bull Shit! You don’t deserve to go to college if you can’t pass high school and made a grade above idiot on the ACT test. End of story.
    None of the above is true no matter what politicians say. In most cases the mases are not smart enough to vote let alone own a home or go to college. Cruel but true. There are exceptions but none that don’t require large amount of effort, work and learning.
    Everytime I hear a politician say that everyone deserves to go to college I know that he is simple asking you to vote for him even though he knows he is wrong and that if you vote for him he will give you something. No matter that that something is taken from someone else.
    Look, it’s really simple. If you invest and lose money it is your fault and no one elses. If you buy a $200,000 home and make $30,000 a year expect that you can’t pay for it or aford the payments and upkeep.
    When you open the door for sinsiter men to take advantage of you they will. If you invest and lose it is not someone else’s fault it is yours even if the investment is a scam. Grow up and except the responsibilities of your actions. If someone scams you it is because you did not do the proper investigation to protect yourself. There are wolves out there and if you act like a lamb you will get eaten.
    If you bought a home that you could not afford you most likely knew you could not afford if especially if times got tuff. If you didn’t know it then you are stupid and should not have bought a house period.
    Somewhere out there people voted for Dodd and Frank and if there are two men in the world that pushed us the most to distructon it is these two men and now we expect them to write papers to get us out of the problem and solve the problem. Wolves to watch over the sheep. How stupid are the people that continue to vote for wolves instead of righteous men.
    If someone is not doing a good job then fire them and that includes anyone in Washington.
    We will continue to get what we deserve as long as a reality show has more people watching it than a political debate.
    I have one last thought. Why do we continue to elect congress to life time terms. Limit all terms to one term and your out and you have to sit out for one term and serve for 6 years each house and senate. Don’t let politicians stay in officer more than the time it takes them to become crooks or takers, taking from someone and giving to other’s to gain power and stay in office.
    As Jefferson said “democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

  22. Vincent F. Celli says:

    If we had a national campaign to bring back Glass Steagall it would do more than anything else to restore our democracy. I have a banker friend who worked in a small bank in Maine for years. He said the rules for his bank were always clear and easy to abide by.

    If you or any one else from Money Map Press would start the ball rolling for a petition to the President and or the congress I would be glad to sign it and alert a lot of my contacts. Please consider this. We need the public to be prodded awake on this issue. Thanks for your work. VFC

    • Paul says:

      honest money, linked to oil or gold or grain, would do more than any legislation (Glass Steagall or otherwise) bail-outs would be prohibitively costly and would not happen.

  23. Owen K. says:

    The wonderful folks of which we speak, Congress and Government to be specific, are all part of the ruling class. This culture that has been created in Washington over decades, is not going to go away overnite. It may not change at all until something shakes the country to its foundations (other than Obama and the present Administration). I am speaking specifically of the efforts by China to replace the Dollar as the World Reserve Currency with their currency. However, point was Frank-Dodd of which this article is right on the money. But, so what? Deficits don’t matter, right? A trillion here and a trillion there and first thing you know, you’re talking about real money.

  24. Harley says:

    I have been saying that the anti-goverment sentitment would be what Obama brings to the table. He has played a dangerous game of encouraging occupy wall street. There is a point where these and the main stream will recognize that the villian here is the Government. So what will they do when people come to the streets to protest against Government. Obama is the Sheriff of Nottingham that takes from the people not Robin Hood giving to the poor! This balancing act will unfold as we all will begin to protest the spending and will not want to give any more of our money to the this wasteful machine. Once that sentiment takes hold, look out it will be hard to stop! We can’t resurrect Ronald Reagan, but someone needs to resore the dream of opportunity that living in America represents, before it is too late!

  25. Kevin Donnelly says:

    If most of the Financial abuses occurred since Glass-Stegall was revoked, those who benefit most, would not like it re-instated,and we know who they are Financial Institutions and Politicians, who they support. All this rubbish, Dodd-Frank, and the Volker rule is a POLITICAL SMOKE SCREEN to ensure that Glass-Stegal is not re-activated.

  26. Rockin Robbie says:

    Until we develop a third forth or fifth party we will be governed by the millionaires both in congress and the white house how can they dictate fair and equal taxes????? how can they spend our money wisely?? you guys talk about the democrats,republicans. remember ross perot ??? he was trying to make a difference..remember?? unless we all band together oh thats not possible because of the patriot act good old bush.well lets see who can fix this mess gooood luck fellow taxpayers

  27. Pete Palmer says:

    Always enjoy Shah’s comment & critique and refreshing to read so many posts from American citizens that indicate Shah is not alone in his “crusade” of enlightenment. I am a Canadian who divides his time between an Ontario home and Mexico. I have long felt the U.S. to be on an equivalent path to the fall of the Roman Empire and it is with despair and frustration that I and countless others watch the propagation of the “haves” at the expense of the “have-nots”! I agree that a groundstorm movement spearheaded by an organization that has, at least at the moment, some audience & support may be the only avenue to bringing the wake-up call to the American voter masses. Otherwise, it’ll be just more “business as usual” for the monkey-folk who have usurped the power of(from) the people!

  28. Ray Forthuber says:

    De facto we are all citizens OF THE WORLD in these times of instant “information” everywhere internet and TV exist. One problem is it’s tough to distinguish BS from objective, unemotional, true FACTS. It is very late to realize that “we have met the enemy…” When will the omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent “class” create A Declaration of INTERDEPENDANCE? Thereafter we can all rush into the streets of everywhere and identify all who are obviously NOT responsible for this chaos. To the guillotine with all other!!
    ( Excuse my, probably incorrect spelling, please.)

  29. Leagree says:

    Thanks for linking this page to your newsletter. I agree with many of the comments about the education I’m receiving from your level of experience with the markets and the economy. Your perspective is invaluable. Keep talking. I’m voting for Ron Paul because he represents the only real change happening in politics.

  30. Alex says:

    Before DISASTER strikes – USD is not any more World Reserve Currency – we have to do our best to abolish “K” street, cut congress & senate terms to two years and create third really independent party. Otherwise, good-bye America

  31. jimmy says:

    SHAW…………….. if i was not a guy, i think we may have been married in a previous life!!!!! ..give’em hell..hoo raw..jimmy

  32. Rapscallion says:

    Have been reading and enjoying your scathing diatribes of our political cronies and their in-it-for-us-only mentality.
    Have you met Matt Taiibbi from ‘Rolling Stone’? The two of you have made the last year one of the most enlightening of my life. Unfortunately, you both showed me how pathetic and self righteous the supposed leaders of our country are and always have been. I have lived through a lot, but I am now ready to see our country head right down the proverbial drain if it means our younger generations will have an opportunity sometime in their lives, to start fresh with no interference from a bogus government. They at least deserve the chance!

  33. Terry Hamm-Morris says:

    Why don’t we all take it upon ourselves to write to our congressmen an senators on our own and get our friends to do it also, why wait for someone to “start a petition”???? I’m going to do it right now!

  34. Chris says:

    Shah Have I missed your comments on the Fed’s role in this housing blowup? When there was such a huge demand for loans during the housing boom how could interest rates have stayed so low if not for the Fed holding them down intentionally. If rates were to be allowed to float freely they would have surely been approaching 10 percent at the height of this bubble and would have cooled things down slowly and naturally. Also, the roles of the secondary market in mortgage loans, namely Fannie and Freddie has not been mentioned. The boards of these quasi-governmental organizations were loaded with ex Clinton administration people who thought that every poor soul should own a house. They bought up every flimsy loan that was ever offered to them by the originating banks and mortgage companies. They gave them great ratings and sold them as CDO’s to unsuspecting investment houses, etc. This topic is worth a lot more time, Shah. I look forward to reading your findings on it.

  35. Terry says:

    Where does the fed res, etc. get the money to ‘lend’ to the govt? They get it from the same place the govt would get it. They print it! If the govt printed the money there would be no 15 trillion dollar deficit. No multi billion dollar interest paid on the national debt which is America’s first entitlement. And some of this interest money makes it’s way back to elected officials to use for campaign funds. Our nation is enslaved to the bankers and reform to eliminate the fed res over a long period of time is needed.

    The fed res and their owners are essentially doing what is a legitimate govt function, printing money to cover the deficits created by our out of control elected officials. Having private banks controlling the money supply is like having military generals controlling the military w/o elected officials having the control of these generals. Or like having a president bending the legal system to the point he no longer, if he ever did, answer to the Constitution! We are very close to having a banana republic type govt, and have a havez in the Wright House. He also appers to have a pro-islamic attitude. The latest incident being his apology over a book burning and the commanders already apologized. And the silence of congress while he runs roughshod over the rule of law is deafening.

    Re contraceptives. This argument is over the separation of church and state. Over freedom of religion. We have been so brainwashed over the past decades that it is always the church that is schemeing against the govt while in fact this separation idea is a two way street. The govt cannot tell churches what they believe in or force them to do things contrary to those beliefs, especially through financial means. Meanwhile, unlike in islam, our govt can’t tax anyone and give the money to a church to support it. In islam the state and the mosque are one so if we get sharia law, you can well expect to pay taxes to support mosques. Our lifestyle depends upon our freedoms, not on cheap gasoline, and our fed govt and elected officials seem to have abandoned their oath of office to defend the Consitution which is the foundation document for these freedoms! Freedom of religion does not mean anyone has to go to church or pray 5 times a day. It means a person can pray or not pray, but just because one chooses to not pray or worship the Creator it does not mean they get to tell those who do pray to stop th nonsnse!

  36. POLpursun says:

    When the intuitive and the deliberative say the same thing or imply and/or require the same conclusion(s) that is, BY DEFINITION, non-controversial: Glass-Steagall 30+ pages and worked for 40 years; Dodd-Frank hundreds of pages. Just the difference in number of pages, in light of the process and strategy of lobbying, suggest that Dodd-Frank is an intentional farce. Think potential for loopholes, watering down, taking forever to promulgate regulations, perverse incentives to NOT enforce regulations on the books, in fact the legislation written in such a manner to be far too dependent on regulator intervention, etc. This is particularly so when the revolving door comes to mind. I recall, during the legislative process re the bill, thinking about legislators need for active income post-Congress. The revolving door concept also applies for regulators.

  37. P.B Mcgeough says:

    The Banks need to be separated Yesterday.Obama Care was just a red flag put up by a disappointing President that failed to use his mandate for change.These Banks now have America Hostage as they have gone further with their Weapons of Mass financial Destruction that before and there is not enough money in the world to bail them out when they fail this time, hopefully they will have paid back most of the bail-out funds before they fail a second time and the American Tax payer is not held hostage to their greed for several generations as it stands today. The greatest irony is that the children of the families living in tent Cities now will see their Children still paying for the mansions in the Catskills and the limousines of the bankers that they Bail out with every Paycheck for the next several generations.The Senate and the Congress are responsible for this betrayal as they have forgotten who pays their wages and where the votes come from.Maybe the American People should vote against All Incumbants and clean house as the People in office now are not doing the Job for the people, but lining their pockets with insider trading and Lobbyist “donations”.

  38. Jim says:

    Great article and interesting comments. It is noteworthy that the banking industry screamed bloody murder when Dodd Frank was passed; the Republicans stopped anything from passing they did not like, and the House passed more than could go through the Senate. Was Dodd Frank a feint, or a genuine effort to pass the only bill that Congress could in light of Republican and Wall Street opposition? Shah clearly thinks we would be better off with nothing. Could we really go back to Glass Steagall? With the Citizens United decision by the Roberts Supreme Court, it is unfortunately apparent that big money will buy elections for banking and Wall Street. Did the writers of the Constitution really think corporations are people? Romney thinks so.

  39. Citizen ry says:

    I’ve been continually ‘vetting’ the machinations of the current administration. It’s disgraceful and nauseating that we have a ‘ruler’ and not a ‘leader’. We have an emperor with ‘no clothes’– and current global events have been ignored to the tipping point. True to his ‘word’, Mr. O is truly ‘fundamentally changing America as we know it’ before our very eyes; every day, every week, etc. , etc.

  40. Kimberly says:

    In response to rdk I also am an american living in Mexico and am often tempted to tell people I’m Canadian out of embarrassment of my heritage. I am a Texan who left USA when GW Bush was elected pres and as we know it’s been downhill every since. I am not politically savy but even a moron could see the damage the US Gov has done to its own people and to the rest of the world.Even with all the corruption, greed and ignorance in Mexico there is still a certain amount of freedom and free will here that is not available in my homeland. EX: even the word “homeland” immediately conjures the word “security” and in Texas it’s like living under martial law..When are we going to wake up and stop the tyranny we call our government? Land of the free- home of the brave? Where is that planet? I’ll buy the first ticket. kd

  41. Susan says:

    I send this to everyone I know about every 3 months.

    The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971 before computers, before e-mail, and before cell phones

    Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land all because of public pressure.

    I’m asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of 12 people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.

    In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

    Congressional Reform Act of 2012

    1. Term Limits.

    12 years only, one of the possible options below:

    A. Two Six-year Senate terms

    B. Six Two-year House terms

    C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms

    2. No Tenure / No Pension.

    A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

    3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.

    All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.

    4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan just as all Americans do.

    5. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

    6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

    7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

    8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.

    The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, NOT a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

    If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.

    THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!! If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete.

    P.S. I think this should apply to State Legislators also.

    P.P.S. They shouldn’t be allowed to vote themselves a raise or profit from
    insider information either.

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