THE TICKER Michael Cohen. (AFP / Hector Retamal) Michael Cohen's consulting company could become a legal headache for President Trump. But it is also politically problematic as those in Trump's orbit are pumping gobs of new muck into the swamp they pledged to drain. As part of Essential Consulting, a company formed by Cohen weeks before the 2016 election, the president's personal attorney and self-described "fixer" paid $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels in order to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump. But it turns out that Cohen's company did a lot more than that, collecting $2.3 million from corporate clients, including a consulting firm tied to a prominent Russian oligarch, drugmaker Novartis, a Korean aerospace company with a contract before the government and AT&T. “I’m crushing it,” Cohen said, according to an associate who spoke to him in the summer of 2017, per some great reporting by my colleagues Michael … [Read more...] about The Finance 202: ‘Those people are getting paid:’ Cohen’s side work highlights how Trump allies are refilling swamp
Finance of america mortgage
THE TICKER House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) speaks at the Milken Institute 21st Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif. late last month. (Reuters/Mike Blake) The Iran deal wasn’t the only Obama-era relic that had a rough day on Tuesday: Congressional Republicans also made a pair of strides against post-crisis financial regulations the last administration ushered into the books. First, GOP leaders in the House and Senate struck a deal that puts the first major rewrite of the Dodd-Frank banking rules on a glide path to becoming law. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced the House would take up a Senate-passed package rolling back requirements on some banks, ending a standoff over how far the effort should go. Then, Tuesday afternoon, the House approved a measure scrapping a rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau aimed at cracking down on racial bias by auto lenders. Since that resolution has cleared the Senate, it … [Read more...] about The Finance 202: Banking deregulation takes two leaps forward on Capitol Hill
THE TICKER President Trump waves as he leaves a roundtable discussion on tax policy at a Boeing plant in St. Louis last month. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Tuesday should have been a banner day for Boeing’s stock. The White House announced that it is sending four top economic hands, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, to China next week in the hopes of negotiating a resolution to the escalating trade conflict that has rattled shares of the aerospace giant. And the administration named an acting head of the Export-Import Bank — the lending facility derided by conservative critics as the “Bank of Boeing” — that has been hobbled by vacancies since 2015. But the company’s shares slid nearly 4 percent amid a broader bloodbath for industrial stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled for the fifth consecutive day, its longest losing streak in more than a year, falling 600 points at one point before recovering slightly to … [Read more...] about The Finance 202: Boeing’s stock was the best bellwether of a trade war. Until yesterday.
THE TICKER Signage is displayed outside a Wells Fargo & Co. bank branch in Los Angeles. (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg) The Washington playbook for a company in crisis starts with a simple premise: Friends aren’t free. That’s why a big business facing a crush of damaging headlines typically beefs up its lobbying team and spreads more political money around. Wells Fargo is doing the opposite. On Friday — the same day federal regulators hit it with a $1 billion civil penalty for ignoring years of problems in its auto and home-lending businesses — the bank reported its lowest spending on lobbying in nine years. It shelled out $670,000 for the first three months of the year (Citigroup, a smaller bank, spent nearly twice that amount in the same period). And its political action committee reported its lowest quarterly collections in three years, dating back to before the eruption of the fake account scandal that started the bank’s headaches. Bank … [Read more...] about The Finance 202: Wells Fargo shrinks lobbying team as it faces crisis in Washington
Imagine you had complete control of the U.S. government: What one thing would you do to reduce the country's staggering economic inequality?It's no small task: The 400 richest Americans control more wealth than the poorest 80 million households, and as the richest citizens continue to capture the lion's share of new wealth — the top 5 percent has captured 74 percent of the wealth created in this country since 1982 — the situation is only growing more extreme.But while there's consensus that America is a wildly unequal country, there's broad disagreement on what, if anything, should be done to address that. That's certainly true in Congress, where disagreement and deadlock have consigned meaningful action on inequality to the realm of the hypothetical.That doesn't mean we shouldn't ask what could happen. And in that spirit, we asked experts from across the ideological spectrum what they would do to address inequality if they were king (or queen) for a day.Their … [Read more...] about How 12 experts would end economic inequality if they ran America