LIONEL PODCAST: Elizabeth Warren’s Non-Specific FFT Plan & Hillary’s Stalking Horse

“High-frequency traders, for example, introduce greater instability into our financial markets through arbitraging gimmicks that add no value to the economy.”

Why is she even considered? Why? because she seems nice and familiarly dowdy and Amy Goodman-esque, like the nice lady with a lot of rescued dogs you see at Whole Foods who brings the cloth bag. The usual progressive leftie soft-spoken nice woman who’s real smart and seems anodyne. Do you think I’m kidding? The smart counter to the paleo-cretinous Neanderthal right.

Close but no cigar. While Elizabeth Warren has endorsed a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT), it’s been less than specific. This week she gave a speech at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College’s 24th Annual Hyman P. Minsky Conference, broaching the idea of a financial transaction tax (FTT) for her first time on record.

“High-frequency traders, for example, introduce greater instability into our financial markets through arbitraging gimmicks that add no value to the economy.

We can address this problem by instituting a targeted Financial Transactions Tax, designed to have no impact on regular ‘Mom and Pop’ investors. Such a tax would push sophisticated trading firms to invest in companies for the long-haul and strengthen our markets.”

It’s a start. Sorta. While this is certainly a positive step for Warren, she’s still behind others in her party because she gives no specific percentage(s) for an FTT.  Rep. Chris Van Hollen (DMD ) in January had already proposed a FTT, with 0.1% on stock trades and 0.01% on derivatives. Van Hollen’s FTT was so popular with the Democrats that Nancy Pelosi endorsed it. Well, Liz? Specifics. It’s a start and is specific whereas Liz’s just isn’t. Sad. So close, yet so far.

And those student loans? Great idea and then she pulled back. Again. Her “Bank on Students’ Emergency Loan Refinancing Act” was great. Theoretically. The act was intended to stop the doubling of student loan rates and allow refinancing of loans to under 4%. Great. Right? This was a bill that would theoretically effectively lift trillions of dollars in student loan debt off the shoulders of graduates struggling to buy homes, start families or pursue higher education. One of the biggest disappointments of 2014 was Warren pulling back on her initial 0.75% loans from the Federal Reserve discount window. Which of course begs the question, is she yet another stalking horse or just a mediocre politician?

 

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