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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Sometimes it seems as if Congress has completely forgotten that there was a financial crisis just a few years ago that cost Americans trillions in wealth and eight million jobs.

Though financial reform became law in 2010, the implementation of Dodd-Frank’s new guidelines and enforcement mechanisms have been slowed and weakened by the overwhelming influence of banking lobbyists.

What’s even more concerning is that existing regulations cannot be properly enforced without sufficient funding from Congress.

At a hearing called “Mitigating Systemic Risk in Financial Markets Through Wall Street Reforms,” Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Mary Jo White and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chair Gary Gensler both told Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) that they’re lacking in resources to do the job of policing the world’s largest financial corporations.

“There’s no question that additional resources are essential to our successful enforcement strategy,” White said, noting that they need funding for additional trial attorneys so they can go to court against violators.

“We need resources across the board for many other things as well,” she said. White noted that the SEC is budget-neutral and deficit-neutral, meaning that enforcements end up paying for themselves due to fines collected.

“I would say our enforcement resources are tiny compared to the size of the markets,” the CFTC’s Gensler added. “You know the American public put $180 billion into AIG [the insurance company taxpayers bailed out], that’s 600 times what the president asked for [to fund] our agency. Our enforcement folks are only about 150 of our people. And unfortunately we’re trying to make the best decisions but often we have to delay justice because we don’t have the right resources.”

“You know, it seems clear that if Congress wants to have a tough watchdog,” Senator Warren said, “it has to make sure the dog hasn’t been starved.”

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Democratic nominee Joe Biden speaking in Manitowoc, WI

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Today in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Joe Biden spoke about the toll of coronavirus, which has now officially passed 200,000. "What worries me now is we've been living with this pandemic for so long, I worry we're risking becoming numb to the toll that it's taken on us," the Democratic nominee warned. "We can't let that happen."

How did that happen? How did America lose 200,000 people to a horrendous death, with no end in sight? That tragedy can be traced directly to a vacuum of leadership in the White House, as Biden remarked. But he also saw behind that lack of presidential fortitude to its deeper cause: Donald Trump simply never cared how many of us die and he still doesn't. The evidence is in Trump's own behavior at his "superspreader rallies" – where he always protects himself while leaving his own followers to risk illness and worse.

Watch Biden describe the moral emptiness inside this president.