2014's fast food atrocities
Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.
Paul Volcker is scheduled to appear before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday afternoon to explain his proposal to limit risk-taking by commercial banks — the so-called Volcker Rule that would ban banks from engaging in proprietary trading with federally insured depositor money.
But if the Financial Times is to be trusted, the Volcker Rule is already dead on arrival, because Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican senator on the Banking Committee, doesn’t like it, the Democrats no longer have 60 votes, and Chris Dodd, the chairman of the committee, wants to play nice.
Don’t read any further if you have blood pressure issues.
From the FT:
A Dodd staffer said the senator is likely to quietly drop or modify many of the recommendations in the Volcker rule to ensure Republican support for regulatory reform.
“Chris is retiring so he wants to end his career with an important regulatory reform bill and he wants to make the bill bipartisan,” the staffer said. “He is not going to risk bipartisan support to make the White House happy.”
I guess that answers the question about whether the lame duck Dodd has any intention of standing up and becoming a real leader, now that he doesn’t have to worry about getting reelected. Do I even need to mention that the Republicans are also opposed to a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, increased taxes on the biggest banks, and tough derivatives regulation? Bipartisan support for financial regulatory reform by definition means that whatever passes the Senate will be the opposite of “important.” It will be irrelevant.
As my colleague Alex Koppelman observes, “Senate Democrats have single-handedly disproven the idea that negative reinforcement can teach people not to do stupid things.” Dodd’s pusillanimous cave-in won’t enhance his legacy. It will annihilate it.
UPDATE: Kirstin Brost, Communications Director, Senate Banking Committee, responds:
I don’t know who [FT's] DealReporter spoke to, but they do not speak for Chris Dodd.
Dodd strongly supports the Volcker rule. He joined Obama for the announcement and is holding two important hearings on the proposal this week — one tomorrow with Volcker and a Treasury rep and a second on Thursday with business and academic experts.
Brost did not waste any time responding, but the proof will be in the legislation.
Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.
KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.
Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.
Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.
Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.
After thirty years in which the principle that markets know best ruled economic policy-making in the United States, the great financial crisis of 2007-2008 brought the deregulatory era to a shrieking halt. The challenge now facing lawmakers and the Obama administration is whether they can craft a new set of rules that will prevent an out-of-control Wall Street from dragging the entire global economy into the gutter once again.
But expectations for bank reform are low. The proposals being debated in Congress don't do enough to solve the problem of too-big-to-fail financial institutions, or to protect consumers. Even worse, to gain enough Republican votes to guarantee passage, Democrats will likely make compromises that further weaken the bill. Despite the greatest financial crisis in more than 70 years, the U.S. government still doesn't have much appetite for meaningful reform.
See also: Bank Bailouts, Ben Bernanke, Goldman Sachs, Mortgage Crisis, Timothy Geithner, U.S. Economy, Wall Street
of rules that will prevent an out-of-control Wall Street from dragging the entire global economy into the gutter once again.