Government Convenience

The Federal government’s Securities and Exchange Commission is vacuuming every scrap of data—including personally identifiable—on every single stock trade done by every single American, and it’s collecting these data from every single broker, exchange, clearing agency, and alternative trading system in the US.

It’s also doing this without any Congressional authorization to do so. The New Civil Liberties Alliance has filed suit to attempt to block the SEC from continuing and to get the SEC’s Consolidated Audit Trail, the mechanism by which the SEC collects and stores these ill-gotten data, completely eliminated. Peggy Little, the NCLA’s Senior Litigation Counsel:

Financial Institutions Retreating from ESG Claptrap

Or are they? Are they, maybe, simply moving to disguise their ESG claptrap in other ways or only altering their rhetoric without materially altering their censorious behavior?

States have responded [to the explosion of ESG irrelevances] with a barrage of legislation that restricts the use of ESG factors or targets entities that boycott certain industries.
Financial institutions are reacting to these state-level actions with what appears to be a retreat from their commitment to ESG, but there are questions if they are changing or just regrouping the efforts under new names.

The Forgotten Man

A recent Wall Street Journal editorial correctly pointed out the costs to us ordinary Americans of a variety of Progressive-Democrat President Joe Biden administration plans. The editors were particularly concerned with the administration’s plans for bank and credit card fees that these institutions charge individuals who overdraw their account or make late payments on their credit cards and that these institutions charge businesses for using the various ATM and credit card payment networks.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency proximately responsible for the latest round of regulations capping those fees at markedly lower levels,

Government Making Crime Pay

Now the Progressive-Democratic Party reigning in the New York State government wants to reward felons for their crimes. After those felons have paid their debt to New York society through their jail time (and apparently before they’ve served out the rest of their penalty in the form of parole), the State wants to give them $2,600 for their trouble.

The legislation, introduced by State Senator Kevin Parker [D] and Assemblyman Eddie Gibbs [D], would allow inmates to collect around $400 each month over six months once they leave prison.
As the bill currently stands, there are no limitations on how or where the money can be spent, according to Fox 5 New York.

Further Reasons to Ban TikTok

And not just force its sale by ByteDance. ByteDance is domiciled in the People’s Republic of China, and as such it’s subject to PRC laws, including the PRC’s national security law requiring PRC companies to answer queries from that nation’s intelligence community, queries which can range from “what do you know about this subject in that country” to “go find out, conduct the espionage.” That’s reason enough to ban the company (that subordination of PRC-domiciled companies to that nation’s intelligence apparatus is reason enough to ban all PRC-domiciled companies from the US, but that’s a different story).

Virtue-Signaling in the Credit Card Market

Progressive-Democrat President Joe Biden is at it again, attempting to buy votes with another of his sham attempts to save us ordinary Americans money.

The Biden administration on Tuesday finalized a new rule to cap all credit card late fees at $8, a move that is expected to elicit fierce pushback from industry giants.

His Consumer Finance Protection Bureau

estimates the new regulation will save American families more than $10 billion in late fees annually by reducing the typical late fee of about $32. That amounts to an average saving of roughly $220 per year for the 45 million people who are charged late fees.

Another Reason to Rescind Chevron Defense

As The Wall Street Journal‘s editors put it in their editorial last Tuesday, nothing is stopping the

Securities and Exchange Commission and prosecutors from finding [regulatory] meaning in statutory penumbras.

Now the SEC is manufacturing a rule based on nothing but the æther in SEC Chairman Gary Gensler’s mind. Gensler has hailed into court a pharmaceutical company employee for the “insider trading” crime of trading in options on the stock shares of another pharmaceutical company, a company about which the man had no insider information at all. Not a whit.

How Good is Good Enough?

The EPA has finalized, despite a plethora of public comment decrying the move, a pollution regulation that, among other things, tries to vastly reduce the amount of soot particles in the air we breathe. Vastly reduce: from the current standard of 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 9 micrograms per cubic meter—from almost nothing to even more almost nothing.

Never mind that the ordinary march of technology and ordinary free market forces have already reduced the amount of soot in our air by 42%, or that there’s vanishingly small [sic] room between the existing almost nothing and nothing.

This Is Why Unions Need to be Busted

Iowa State Senator Adrian Dickey (R, Packwood) has introduced SF 2374, which is a bill that would

require each public employer to “submit to the [Public Employee Relations Board, or PERB] a list of employees in the bargaining unit” within 10 days of a union recertification election.

Never mind that Iowa’s taxpaying citizens have every right to know what their tax dollars are being used for and who’s being paid with them. Never mind, either, that the bill requires public employers, not unions, to submit lists of eligible employees. Never mind, either either, that unions insist on precisely this information when it’s useful for them; unions just call it card checking.

Not All It Can Do

Progressive-Democrat Mayor Eric Adams’ New York City government has a new way to spy on American citizens resident in that city, or even just visiting.

New York City drivers buckle up because Big Brother (aka the MTA) is keeping a watchful eye on you by installing cameras along New York City streets to track you. But why? Well, it all boils down to money, of course. The MTA is rolling out a controversial $15 per day congestion fee for all drivers venturing south of 60th Street. They’ve even given this area of Manhattan a snazzy name: the toll congestion zone.