“No one should be mistaken about what unfolded over the past few days in the U.S. banking system: These recent bank failures are the direct result of leaders in Washington weakening the financial rules.
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act to protect consumers and ensure that big banks could never again take down the economy and destroy millions of lives. Wall Street chief executives and their armies of lawyers and lobbyists hated this law. They spent millions trying to defeat it, and, when they lost, spent millions more trying to weaken it.
Greg Becker, the chief executive of Silicon Valley Bank, was one of the many high-powered executives who lobbied Congress to weaken the law. In 2018, the big banks won. With support from both parties, President Donald Trump signed a law to roll back critical parts of Dodd-Frank. Regulators, including the Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell, then made a bad situation worse, letting financial institutions load up on risk.
Banks like S.V.B. — which had become the 16th largest bank in the country before regulators shut it down on Friday — got relief from stringent requirements, basing their claim on the laughable assertion that banks like them weren’t actually “big” and therefore didn’t need strong oversight.”
By Noam ScheiberMarch 6, 2023, 3:00 a.m. ET6 MIN READ
“For four years beginning in 2014, Tiffany Palliser worked at Panera Bread in South Florida, making salads and operating the register for shifts that began at 5 a.m. and often ran late into the afternoon.Ms. Palliser estimates that she worked at least 50 hours a week on average. But she says she did not receive overtime pay.The reason? Panera officially considered her a manager and paid her an annual salary rather than on an hourly basis. Ms. Palliser said she was often told that “this is what you signed up for” by becoming an assistant manager.”
“. . . . . Some lawyers said only an increase in the limit below which workers automatically receive overtime pay is likely to meaningfully rein in misclassification. With a higher cutoff, simply paying workers overtime is often cheaper than avoiding overtime costs by substantially increasing their pay and labeling them managers.
“That’s why companies fought it so hard under Obama,” said Ms. Aaron, a partner at Winebrake & Santillo, alluding to a 2016 Labor Department rule raising the overtime limit to about $47,500 from about $23,500. A federal judge suspended the rule, arguing that the Obama administration lacked the authority to raise the salary limit by such a large amount.
The Trump administration later adopted the current cutoff of about $35,500, and the Biden administration has indicated that it will propose raising the cutoff substantially this year. Business groups say such a change will not help many workers because employers are likely to lower base wages to offset overtime pay.” 30