Most of us knew that part of the re-election process over the past several months from our presidential hopefuls was focused on financial considerations. At the core of those considerations was the controversial Dodd Frank Act. The need for its continued implementation is crucial and the Republicans are ready to move mountains to thwart that implementation. The only problem for them is, Dodd Frank isn’t going anywhere, at least not for the next four years.
There were banks, CEOs and other Wall Street heavy hitters who aggressively campaigned for the Republican presidential hopeful for one reason: Mitt Romney promised to repeal Dodd Frank. So determined were those efforts, that collective $20 million was tossed in the Republican camp, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. But while everyone was focused on Dodd Frank, there are a few more Obama-inspired measures that will remain in place.
The foreign Corrupt Practices Act is one of those measures. In fact, the Obama Administration has promised it would be “vigorous” in its efforts. And they’d better be because currently, there are more than one hundred traded companies that are feeling the investigative heat that’s provided courtesy of this law. Those companies include some of the nation’s biggest names, including Wal Mart, Goldman Sachs and several drug makers. The accusations run the gamut, too, and if they’re proven, can result in big problems for those companies.
While a second term under Obama buys time, there are considerations that must be put into place sooner rather than later. First up, the president is being pressured into appointing folks into all of those open positions. There are even a few already filled, but that might become vacant in the coming months, too. We asked one spokesperson and was told that one of the first ones President Obama is mulling over is for the commissioner for the Internal Revenue Service. That seat was made available when the current Commissioner saw his term expire the first of November.
Whoever Obama chooses will also be willing to oversee the IRS Whistleblower Program. As of right now, that role is temporarily filled by Steve Miller, who may be asked to step into Shulman’s role. Miller has already benefited the program as a whole and been acknowledged to the media as the president’s first choice. In fact, Miller has been aggressive in upping the ante with the program, at times demanding his staff to “pick up the pace” with matters associated with the program.
Another expiring position is that of SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, who’s set to leave even before then, according to some sources. She too has been a brilliant asset in the SEC’s version of a whistleblower program. Under her watch, an impressive program was developed that has resulted in better enforcement for the organization. Obama will no doubt be looking for someone who mirrors both her determination and demand for results.
A third agency’s whistleblower lead is also possibly up for grabs. This time, it’s Gary Gensler, who oversees the CFTC Whistleblower Program. His term has already expired, but there’s been no mention on whether Obama will opt to fill it again or not.
All of these possible vacancies, commitments to keeping up the momentum with various new laws, including those found under Dodd Frank – the CARD Act, for instance and the growing worries over the fiscal cliff are surely causing a lot of long days for the president as he puts the past few months of campaigning behind him and gears up for another four years at the helm of the nation. Meanwhile, there are a host of other shake ups in his staff – and these are very high profile, too.
First, it should be noted it’s very unlikely President Obama would have anticipated having to fill both the lead for the CIA and possibly even two more upper seats within the military. As the Benghazi scandal plays out against the backdrop of the scandalous affairs that have been revealed in recent days, there will most certainly be a lot of decisions made on that front as while. All the while, he’s facing new appointments for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who many say are considering submitting his own resignation, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and several others are also reportedly considering resigning.
Even as Dodd Frank is likely front and center in the minds of many Republicans and most certainly on the minds of bank CEOs like JPMorgan Chase’s leader, Jamie Dimon and others, it appears President Obama has planted his feet squarely on making sure those new laws aren’t tampered with. And if you think none of it applies to you, you should know these laws are what put into place new guidelines for credit card companies to prevent them from tacking too many fees on to your monthly statements and requiring a 45 day notice prior to raising your credit card’s APR.
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