From offices in Omaha and Silicon Valley, Stephen George took Jeff Skoll’s fortune and helped create a family office that invested like a private-equity firm, taking bets on technology, healthcare and clean energy.
The U.S. has historically kept the financial sector in check through a combination of sound principles and serendipitous decisions. But as the financial system gained strength in recent years, it also gained political influence. In the last decade, it has become too concentrated and too powerful, which has damaged not only the economy but the financial sector itself.
The new financial regulation law gives the Federal Reserve chairman the authority to force banks to raise capital and tighten lending -- just as he’s trying to steer monetary policy in the opposite direction.
When U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, the former law-school professor and self-appointed scourge of Wall Street, gets her history terribly wrong -- and proposes a new law based on that lack of understanding -- there must be a reckoning.
In November 2009, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd advanced a radical proposal: to create a super-regulator that would take over most of the bank supervision that had been done by the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and other agencies.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and a bipartisan group of lawmakers have introduced a bill aimed at re-creating the Glass-Steagall Act, the Depression-era measure that separated commercial and investment banking.
When President Barack Obama dropped by Lawrence Summers’s going-away party in 2010, he presented his National Economic Council director with a pair of suspenders, a gag gift to help Summers hold up his perpetually sagging trousers.