Economy & Budget

Banks falling short on money laundering regulations

The only way to prevent banks like HSBC from facilitating money laundering is if the punishment fits the crime

Today representatives from HSBC, the U.S. Treasury and one of the banking regulators will be called before the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to answer a series of questions about why banks, HSBC in particular, and the government officials who regulate them, are leaving the United States financial system vulnerable to drug trafficking, money laundering and terrorist finance.


Revising the outdated, expensive nuclear strategy can pay dividends

While the media is consumed with tax cuts, the economy, and other election-year issues, the sequestration clock is ticking away. Behind the scenes Congress is scrambling to come up with a spending plan to avoid the automatic budget cuts that will kick in in a few short months.  

It’s no secret that an across-the-board cut, described by Secretary Gates as “the meat-ax approach,” is not a smart way to reduce government spending. The scalpel approach – trimming unnecessary programs while protecting vital defense capabilities – is the only way to craft a national security strategy that is both effective and cost-effective.


Dodd-Frank's silver lining

As Dodd-Frank’s second anniversary nears, both sides of the aisle are hotly contesting the impact of the law and its impact on the U.S. economy. While most of the financial sector continues to fret over the sweeping provisions found in the Dodd-Frank, there are some exceptions worth a closer look. There is a little-known subtitle that sets the framework to modernize an important segment of the insurance market. What sets this provision apart from most others found in the Act is that the industry facing changing regulation is actually advocating alongside Congress for its implementation.


Punting on fiscal matters is irresponsible and reckless

Mayan legend holds the "end of the world" will occur as 2013 begins, spurring apocalyptic catastrophes. In fact, a recent Reuters poll found one in ten people believe the world will end this year. Ironically, like many Americans and ancient Mayans, Washington talking heads believe the end of the world is coming in December. Instead of apocalyptic natural disasters, Washington’s "fiscal cliff" is man made: a series of tax increases scheduled to occur the same time as the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester.


Generate jobs now

The preeminent economic challenge of our time is to generate robust job growth and make sure unemployment drops steadily and rapidly. Our failure to adequately address the persistent high unemployment rate means we can expect depressed wages; eroded benefits; wrecked career trajectories, especially for the young; and years before family incomes return to their pre-recession levels. This is especially disappointing given that there were no improvements in workers’ inflation-adjusted wages and benefits, among either high school or college graduates, in the prior recovery from 2002 to 2007, and working-class family incomes were lower in 2007 than at the start of the prior business cycle in 2000. What is at stake is whether we will have a lost decade ahead of us coming on top of the one we have just been through. The meager job growth in June and the last few months reported in the last ‘jobs report’ accentuates the need to take decisive action.


President thinks that government is answer

What did last Friday’s jobs numbers mean? The same thing they meant last month, and in the months and months before that: President Obama’s economic policies are too big to succeed.