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Politico: A decade after meltdown, Senate moves to roll back bank rules

Politico, February 20, 2018: A decade after meltdown, Senate moves to roll back bank rules

U.S. senators are planning to mark the 10th anniversary of Wall Street’s meltdown this year with a gift to the nation’s banks: a bill that would unravel regulations put in place after the crisis.

The proposed rollback of some key post-crisis rules – which could advance in the coming weeks – is one of the few examples of bipartisanship in Washington since President Donald Trump’s election.

The bill would scale back regulations that Democrats pushed through in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act — the sweeping statute that rewrote the rules of the financial industry and was one of President Barack Obama’s signature achievements.

Now lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say the landmark law should be recalibrated to ease restrictions on lenders, in particular the smallest banks that were not responsible for the worst excesses that led to the crisis.

Yet the bill is driving a wedge between Democrats and threatening to magnify the party’s divisions as it fights to win back Congress this year. Progressives like Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown and their activist allies argue that the bill will put consumers at risk.

Brown says the bill’s backers are overselling its benefits to the smallest lenders and that easing rules for larger banks would threaten the economy.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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