Wednesday, May 24, 2017

President Trumps Budget Proposal Ends Dodd-Frank Act’s taxpayer-funded bailout scheme


May 24,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) issued the following statement on President Trump's Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal:

“The higher taxes, spending and borrowing that were the pillars of Obamanomics brought us the weakest economic recovery in our lifetimes, stagnant paychecks and more new debt than nearly all other presidents combined. Left unchecked, our nation is driving at breakneck speed toward a spending-driven debt crisis that will leave us a nation of downsized dreams and fewer opportunities. We cannot continue to grow Washington’s budget at the expense of the family budget. For the first time in almost a decade, a President has proposed a budget that puts us on a path to fiscal sanity. This budget is a sober document, and I’m pleased President Trump’s proposal takes a long overdue look at redefining the proper role of the federal government while simultaneously investing in our military at a time of increasing threats to our safety domestically and abroad.

“I am also pleased his budget proposal seeks to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act’s taxpayer-funded bailout scheme and bring spending accountability to the unconstitutional CFPB. Ending Wall Street bailouts and making Washington regulators accountable are key parts of the Financial CHOICE Act. If we want strong economic growth and more freedom, we must empower Americans, not Washington bureaucrats. I wish the White House had gone further in reforms to our entitlement system which is going bankrupt and represents the true driver of our nation’s spending driven debt crisis. I look forward to working with the administration and my colleagues in Congress to end bank bailouts, grow our economy and restore fiscal accountability to Washington.”

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Prince Dykes 2017 Berkshire Hathaway Documentary


May 21,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Omaha, Nebraska , our friend Prince Dykes of the Investors Show wanted to share a recap of his first experience at a Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting . Hopefully you enjoy the footage as much as we did.

Check out Prince's interview with Bill Gates and a fun chat with a couple from New Jersey.

Prince can be found regularly on the "The Investor Show" channel on Youtube were he interviews investors and entrepreneurs

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

The Financial CHOICE Act Ends Bank Bailouts


May 2,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

WASHINGTON DC, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement at today’s markup of H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017. The Financial CHOICE Act is the Republican alternative to the failed Dodd-Frank Act. The Financial CHOICE Act ends taxpayer-funded bailouts for banks, holds Washington and Wall Street accountable with the toughest penalties in history for fraud, and promotes economic growth. For more information on the Financial CHOICE Act, visit www.FinancialCHOICE.gop:

When Dodd-Frank was passed nearly 7 years ago, Americans were promised it would lift the economy. Instead, we’ve had the slowest and weakest recovery of our lifetimes. We were promised Dodd-Frank would end bailouts. Instead, Dodd-Frank promises more taxpayer-funded bailouts for the Wall Street banks that unelected bureaucrats decree are too big to fail. We were promised that by turning more control over our economy to Washington, Dodd-Frank would make our financial system more secure.

Yet, with Dodd-Frank the big banks got even bigger; we’ve lost more than 1,700 community banks; and corporate bond markets are seeing historic levels of illiquidity and volatility. That’s not a more secure financial system. That’s increasing risk to our financial system and setting the stage for the next crisis. Even the former director of President Obama’s National Economic Council admitted Dodd-Frank has not made large banks any safer than they were before Dodd-Frank.

Instead of helping working families recover and achieve financial independence, university researchers concluded Dodd-Frank “triggered a substantial redistribution of credit from middle class households to wealthy households.” Indeed, the Federal Reserve tells us that when Dodd-Frank is fully phased in, one-third of black and Hispanic borrowers who were able to buy a home before the crisis will no longer be able to do so. Consumers who could depend on free checking at their banks no longer can because of Dodd-Frank.

Instead, consumers find their average monthly fees have tripled. For all the rhetoric we hear from the other side about how Dodd-Frank was supposed to be a “consumer protection law,” the reality is that with Dodd-Frank consumers are paying more and getting less.

And for all the rhetoric we hear from the other side about how Dodd-Frank is a “Wall Street reform” law, the reality is Wall Street is doing just fine under Dodd-Frank.

Wall Street CEOs themselves have openly stated their big banks are among the biggest beneficiaries of Dodd-Frank. They’ve said Dodd-Frank’s complexity and regulations help them maintain a competitive advantage over their competitors. No doubt this is one reason why so many Wall Street CEOs are joining with Democrats to publicly say they don’t want Congress to repeal Dodd-Frank.

Community banks and credit unions – well, that’s a different thing. In hearing after hearing, this committee has heard from dozens of community bankers and credit union leaders about the very real harm Dodd-Frank is causing on Main Street. We see this especially when it comes to small businesses, America’s job creating engine. Just listen to the former director of President Obama’s Small Business Administration, who lamented the fact that Dodd-Frank’s heavy-handed regulations on community banks “are getting in the way of their ability to make small business loans.”

No wonder entrepreneurship is at a generational low in America. Regrettably, thanks to Dodd-Frank, too many garages are full of old cars instead of new startup small businesses.

It’s time for the bailouts to end. It’s time to help small businesses on Main Street. It’s time to make Washington and Wall Street both accountable. It’s time for the Financial CHOICE Act.

The Financial CHOICE Act ends bailouts so Washington can never again pick taxpayers’ pockets and hand the money over to big banks. It ends too big to fail. It makes our financial system safer and helps avoid another crisis by replacing taxpayer funds with loss-absorbing private capital – far more capital than either Dodd-Frank or the Basel Accords requires.

It creates a true cop on the beat to protect consumers. We will have a consumer agency fully focused on enforcing consumer protection laws instead of losing valuable time and resources making up their own laws with no accountability, checks and balances or due process. The Financial CHOICE Act will ensure that the shadow regulators come out from the shadows and that government will be accountable to We, the People.

The Financial CHOICE Act holds Wall Street accountable with the toughest penalties in history for fraud and insider trading.

Instead of trying to grow our economy the old way, with top-down Washington regulations, the Financial CHOICE Act will unleash a wave of capital formation to grow America’s economy – not Washington’s government economy.

And the Financial CHOICE Act offers desperately-needed regulatory relief for our community banks and credit unions.

That’s why community banks and credit unions, who sometimes don’t always agree, have joined together in support of the Financial CHOICE Act.

Americans are tired of waiting. They have struggled for far too long. It is time to end bailouts. It is time to hold Washington and Wall Street accountable. It is time to make our financial system safer, stronger and more secure. And it is time for a healthier economy, with equal opportunity for all. It is time for the Financial CHOICE Act.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

President Trump Proposed a Massive Tax Cut. Here’s What You Need to Know

APRIL 26, 2017
BY GARY COHN

Washington DC, We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to do something big. President Trump has made tax reform a priority, and we have a Republican Congress that wants to get it done. This is something that Democrats should support too because it’s good for the American people.

The President is going to seize this opportunity by leading the most significant tax reform legislation since 1986 – and one of the biggest tax cuts in American history.

The President has focused on three things since his campaign: job creation, economic growth, and helping low and middle-income families who have been left behind by this economy. He understands that there are a lot of people in this country that feel like they work hard and still can’t get ahead. They are sick of turning their paychecks over to Washington and having no idea how their tax dollars are spent. They are frustrated by a tax code that is so complicated that they can’t even do their own taxes.

That’s why tax reform is such a big priority for this President. He cares about making the economy work better for the American people.

We are going to cut taxes for businesses to make them competitive, and we are going to cut taxes for the American people – especially low and middle-income families.

In 1935, we had a one-page tax form consisting of 34 lines and two pages of instructions. Today, the basic 1040 form has 79 lines and 211 pages of instructions. Instead of a single tax form, the IRS now has 199 tax forms on the individual side of the tax code alone. Taxpayers spend nearly 7 billion hours complying with the tax code each year, and nearly 90% of taxpayers need help filing their taxes.

We are going to cut taxes and simplify the tax code by taking the current 7 tax brackets we have today and reducing them to only three brackets: 10 percent, 25 percent, and 35 percent.

We are going to double the standard deduction so that a married couple won’t pay any taxes on the first $24,000 of income they earn. So in essence, we are creating a 0 percent tax rate for the first $24,000 that a couple earns.

The larger standard deduction also leads to simplification because far fewer taxpayers will need to itemize, which means their tax form can go back to that one simple page.

Families in this country will also benefit from tax relief to help them with child and dependent care expenses.

We are going to repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The AMT creates significant complications and burdens by requiring taxpayers to do their taxes twice to see which is higher. That makes no sense; we should have one simple tax code.

Job creation and economic growth is the top priority for this Administration, and nothing drives economic growth like capital investment. Therefore, we are going to return the top tax rate on capital gains and dividends to 20 percent by repealing the harmful 3.8 percent Obamacare tax. That tax has been a direct hit on investment income and small business owners.

We are going to repeal the death tax. The threat of being hit by the death tax leads small business owners and farmers in this country to waste countless hours and resources on complicated estate planning to make sure their children aren’t hit with a huge tax when they die. No one wants their children to have to sell the family business to pay an unfair tax.

We are going to eliminate most of the tax breaks that mainly benefit high-income individuals. Home ownership, charitable giving, and retirement savings will be protected – but other tax benefits will be eliminated.

This is not going to be easy. Doing big things never is. But one thing is for certain: I would not bet against this President. He will get this done for the American people.

Gary Cohn is the chief economic advisor to President Donald J. Trump and Director of the National Economic Council.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

I Host the Financial Crisis Tour and the Wall Street Insider Tour on Monday's in NYC

book it now https://www.thewallstreetexperience.com/

Financial Crisis Tour : Learn the Secrets at the Heart of the Collapse

The economic collapse of 2008 was the most devastating shock suffered by the financial sector since the Great Depression. The effects of the recession were felt world-wide, yet the reasons behind it are still shaded in mystery. What mistakes lead to the collapse of some of the longest and most enduring financial institutions in America? And how can we avoid the same missteps in the future?

https://www.thewallstreetexperience.com/financial-crisis-tour

Wall Street Insider Tour: Explore the History of the American Economy

The streets surrounding Wall Street are some of the oldest in the city. They occupy a special significance in American history, as so much happened in just a few city blocks. From the first Dutch settlers to the high stakes action of the Stock Market, New York is a city built on commerce, and Wall Street is its heart.

https://www.thewallstreetexperience.com/wall-street-insider-tour

Thursday, April 20, 2017

House GOP Moves to End "Bailout Nation" with the Financial CHOICE Act

No More Bank Bailouts, Accountability for Wall Street and Washington, Economic Growth at the Core of Republican Plan

April 20,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

WASHINGTON – Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) today announced that the Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the Financial CHOICE Act on Wednesday, April 26 at 10:00 a.m.

“Republicans are eager to work with the President to end and replace the Dodd-Frank mistake with the Financial CHOICE Act because it holds Wall Street and Washington accountable, ends taxpayer-funded bank bailouts, and unleashes America’s economic potential,” said Chairman Hensarling. “We want economic opportunity for all, bailouts for none. We want real consumer protections that will give you more choices. Our solution grows the economy from Main Street up, creates more opportunities for working families to get ahead, and levels the playing field with no more Wall Street bailouts.”

CHOICE stands for Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs.

The ideas and principles behind the Financial CHOICE Act were first unveiled last June by Chairman Hensarling in a speech to the Economic Club of New York. The Financial Services Committee approved the Financial CHOICE Act in September. The Committee will discuss an updated version of the bill at Wednesday’s hearing.

“Supporters of Dodd-Frank promised it would lift the economy, end bailouts and protect consumers. Yet Americans have suffered through the worst recovery in 70 years, Dodd-Frank guarantees future bailouts for Wall Street, and consumers are paying more and have fewer choices. Dodd-Frank failed to keep its promises to the American people, but we will work with President Trump to follow through on his promise to dismantle Dodd-Frank. That’s not what Wall Street wants, but it is what hardworking Americans need to have a healthier economy with more opportunities so they can achieve financial independence.”

FINANCIAL CHOICE ACT AT A GLANCE:

BANKRUPTCY, NOT BAILOUTS

No more bailouts: that’s at the core of our plan and our commitment to hardworking taxpayers. With bipartisan changes to our bankruptcy code, large financial firms can fail without disrupting the entire economy or forcing hardworking taxpayers to pay for more bailouts.

ACCOUNTABILITY FOR WALL STREET AND WASHINGTON

The Financial CHOICE Act includes the toughest penalties in history for those who commit financial fraud and insider trading. Holding Wall Street accountable with the toughest penalties in history will deter corporate wrongdoing and better protect consumers. At the same time we hold Wall Street accountable, the Financial CHOICE Act also holds Washington accountable. Tougher accountability for Wall Street and Washington will protect the integrity of our markets so they benefit ordinary Americans who are working, saving and investing.

STRONGLY CAPITALIZED BANKS

Dodd-Frank’s one-size-fits-all regulations treat all financial institutions the same, regardless of their size. That makes no sense and hurts smaller, hometown banks and credit unions that did nothing to cause the last financial crisis.

The Financial CHOICE Act is based on two important principles: First, all banks need to be well-capitalized and, second, community banks and credit unions deserve relief from the crushing burden of over-regulation. Under the Financial CHOICE Act, banks and credit unions will qualify for regulatory relief if they elect to maintain enough capital to ensure that if they get in trouble, taxpayers won’t be forced to bail them out. Ninety-eight percent of the financial institutions that met the Financial CHOICE Act’s requirements for being well-capitalized did not fail during the financial crisis. Of the miniscule percentage that did fail, none posed a systemic risk.

EMPOWER AMERICANS

The Financial CHOICE Act grows our economy from Main Street up. Dodd-Frank tries to control the economy from Washington down. The Financial CHOICE Act will help get credit and capital into the hands of working men and women to fuel their economic growth.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Former U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett Tapped to lead U.S. Export-Import Bank

April 15,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

President Donald Trump said Friday he would nominate former U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett, who had supported closing the U.S. Export-Import Bank, to head the credit agency. Garrett's fight against the agency was well documented on this blog.

Mr. Garrett voted in both 2012 and in 2015 against renewing the charter of the Ex-Im Bank, which guarantees loans for companies that export U.S. products.

Garrett had worked closely with Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas), the current chair of the House Financial Services Committee who steered the campaign to curtail the Ex-Im Bank. He helped engineer a five-month lapse in the agency’s charter in 2015, and the Ex-Im Bank hasn’t been able to approve financial for deals of more than $10 million for the last two years because Senate Republicans didn’t fill empty board seats, depriving the agency of a quorum.

Garrett’s nomination comes just days after Trump appeared to soften his stance on the bank and said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal he now supported the bank after having been critical of it.