Will Trump Cut the Red Tape?

Of the many polarizations of the United States today, the battle over regulation is particularly fierce and many years in the making. Over the past decades, since at least the presidency of Ronald Reagan, the right and the Republican Party have come to view regulation as the premier sign of government overreach, stifling freedoms and hobbling economic growth. The left and the Democrats for the most part see regulation as the vital bulwark protecting the mass of Americans from corporate and government abuse.

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Punitive Damages

ast week Citigroup finally reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over shoddy mortgage securities transactions in the years immediately before the 2008–2009 financial crisis. The bank agreed to pay $7 billion. That follows a $13 billion settlement paid last year by JPMorgan Chase & Co., and comes just as Bank of America is negotiating a settlement with the Justice Department sure to top $12 billion.

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Ethically Challenged Congress Needs Law or Code Banning Insider Trading

Sometimes a story breaks that leads to jaw dropping even among the normally jaded. This past week, a new book by conservative muckraker Peter Schweizer and a memoir by the disgraced and convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff both shed light on the degree to which members of Congress profited from trading stocks that were directly affected by pending government policy. The insider trading ran the gamut of Republicans and Democrats and in all cases involved knowledge of pending contracts or legislation that would benefit or penalize specific industries. The amounts gained ranged from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands.

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