Obama Breaks with Geithner to support "Volcker Rule" in sweeping new financial sector reform proposal.
Following the counsel of highly-respected former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker
in a move that would significantly weaken the role of current Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner
, Obama's tough new proposals are being received by recent administration critic Robert Reich
as a welcome, if overdue, policy correction. Among other things, the new proposals would effectively restore previous restrictions separating deposit and investment banks (as originally imposed by the depression-era Glass-Steagall Act
), as well as imposing stiff new capital requirements, and restrictions designed to prevent banks from becoming too big to fail.
Landmark health care reform legislation passes senate on a Christmas-eve party line vote.
So after a turbulent and contentious legislative process with many sudden reversals
and last minute surprises
, what's actually in the bill? NPR offers a "Consumer's Guide"
to the form the final, reconciled legislation now seems likeliest to take. [more inside]
Eric Holder releases newly revamped state secrets policy.
In the face of a storm of recent criticisms from political commentators
that President Obama's policies on state secrets privileges represent a continuation of the Bush administration's policies, the Obama administration has maintained all along that these policies were undergoing comprehensive Justice Department review, with the intent of releasing a new set of comprehensive rules governing the invocation and abuse of state secrets. Today, the Obama administration spelled out its new state secrets policy
. [more inside]