Barack Hussein Obama II is an American attorney and politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African American, he served as a U. S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008. Obama was born in Hawaii. After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, he worked as a community organizer in Chicago. In 1988, he enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating, he became a civil rights attorney and an academic, teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004, he represented the 13th district for three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 until 2004 when he ran for the U. S. Senate, he received national attention in 2004 with his March primary win, his well-received July Democratic National Convention keynote address, his landslide November election to the Senate. In 2008, he was nominated for president a year after his campaign began and after a close primary campaign against Hillary Clinton.
He was elected over Republican John McCain and was inaugurated on January 20, 2009. Nine months he was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Regarded as a centrist New Democrat, Obama signed many landmark bills into law during his first two years in office; the main reforms that were passed include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, Job Creation Act of 2010 served as economic stimulus amidst the Great Recession. After a lengthy debate over the national debt limit, he signed the Budget Control and the American Taxpayer Relief Acts. In foreign policy, he increased U. S. troop levels in Afghanistan, reduced nuclear weapons with the United States–Russia New START treaty, ended military involvement in the Iraq War. He ordered military involvement in Libya in opposition to Muammar Gaddafi.
He ordered the military operations that resulted in the deaths of Osama bin Laden and suspected Yemeni Al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki. After winning re-election by defeating Republican opponent Mitt Romney, Obama was sworn in for a second term in 2013. During this term, he promoted inclusiveness for LGBT Americans, his administration filed briefs that urged the Supreme Court to strike down same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional. He advocated for gun control in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, indicating support for a ban on assault weapons, issued wide-ranging executive actions concerning climate change and immigration. In foreign policy, he ordered military intervention in Iraq in response to gains made by ISIL after the 2011 withdrawal from Iraq, continued the process of ending U. S. combat operations in Afghanistan in 2016, promoted discussions that led to the 2015 Paris Agreement on global climate change, initiated sanctions against Russia following the invasion in Ukraine and again after Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, brokered a nuclear deal with Iran, normalized U.
S. relations with Cuba. During his term in office, America's reputation in global polling improved. Evaluations of his presidency among historians, political scientists, the general public place him among the upper tier of American presidents. Obama left office and retired in January 2017 and resides in Washington, D. C. A December 2018 Gallup poll found Obama to be the most admired man in America for an unprecedented 11th consecutive year, although Dwight D. Eisenhower was selected most admired in twelve non-consecutive years. Obama was born on August 4, 1961, at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu, Hawaii, he is the only president, born outside of the contiguous 48 states. He was born to a black father, his mother, Ann Dunham, was born in Kansas. His father, Barack Obama Sr. was a Luo Kenyan from Nyang'oma Kogelo. Obama's parents met in 1960 in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his father was a foreign student on a scholarship; the couple married in Hawaii, on February 2, 1961, six months before Obama was born.
In late August 1961, Barack and his mother moved to the University of Washington in Seattle, where they lived for a year. During that time, the elder Obama completed his undergraduate degree in economics in Hawaii, graduating in June 1962, he left to attend graduate school on a scholarship at Harvard University, where he earned an M. A. in economics. Obama's parents divorced in March 1964. Obama Sr. returned to Kenya in 1964, where he married for a third time and worked for the Kenyan government as the Senior Economic Analyst in the Ministry of Finance. He visited his son in Hawaii only once, at Christmas time in 1971, before he was killed in an automobile accident in 1982, when Obama was 21 years old. Recalling his early childhood, Obama said, "That my father looked nothing like the people around me – that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk – registered in my mind." He described his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multira
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is an agency of the United States government responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector. CFPB's jurisdiction includes banks, credit unions, securities firms, payday lenders, mortgage-servicing operations, foreclosure relief services, debt collectors and other financial companies operating in the United States; the CFPB's creation was authorized by the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, whose passage in 2010 was a legislative response to the financial crisis of 2007–08 and the subsequent Great Recession. The CFPB's status as an independent agency has been challenged in court but was upheld by United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sitting en banc. On June 16, 2018, President Donald Trump selected Kathleen Kraninger, a White House budget official, as the nominee to be the next director of the CFPB. According to former Director Richard Cordray, the Bureau's priorities are mortgages, credit cards and student loans.
The CFPB was designed to consolidate its employees and responsibilities from a number of other federal regulatory bodies, including the Federal Reserve, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The bureau is an independent unit located inside and funded by the United States Federal Reserve, with interim affiliation with the U. S. Treasury Department; the CFPB writes and enforces rules for financial institutions, examines both bank and non-bank financial institutions and reports on markets, as well as collects and tracks consumer complaints. The CFPB opened its website in early February 2011 to accept suggestions from consumers via YouTube and its own website interface. According to the United States Treasury Department, the bureau is tasked with the responsibility to "promote fairness and transparency for mortgages, credit cards, other consumer financial products and services".
According to its web site, the CFPB's "central mission...is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans—whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products". In 2016 alone most of the hundreds of thousands of consumer complaints about their financial services—including banks and credit card issuers—were received and compiled by CFPB and are publicly available on a federal government database. In July 2010, Congress passed the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, during the 111th United States Congress in response to the Late-2000s recession and financial crisis; the agency was proposed in 2007 by Harvard Law School professor and current US senator Elizabeth Warren. The proposed CFPB was supported by Americans for Financial Reform, a newly created umbrella organization of some 250 consumer, civil rights and other activist organizations. On September 17, 2010, President Obama announced the appointment of Warren as Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to set up the new agency.
Due to the way the legislation creating the bureau was written, until the first Director was in place, the agency was not able to write new rules or supervise financial institutions other than banks. On July 21, 2011 Senator Richard Shelby wrote an op‑ed for the Wall Street Journal affirming his continued opposition to a centralized structure, noting that both the Securities Exchange Commission and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation had executive boards and that the CFPB should be no different, he noted lessons learned from experiences with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as support for his argument. Politico interpreted Shelby's statements as saying that Cordray's nomination was "dead on arrival". Republican threats of a filibuster to block the nomination in December 2011 led to Senate inaction; the CFPB formally began operation on July 21, 2011, shortly after President Obama announced that Sen. Warren would be passed over as Director in favor of Richard Cordray, who prior to the nomination had been hired as chief of enforcement for the agency.
Elizabeth Warren, who proposed and established the CFPB, was removed from consideration as the bureau's first formal director after Obama administration officials became convinced Warren could not overcome strong Republican opposition. On July 17, President Obama nominated former Ohio Attorney General and Ohio State Treasurer Richard Cordray to be the first formal director of the CFPB. However, Cordray's nomination was in jeopardy due to 44 Senate Republicans vowing to derail any nominee in order to encourage a decentralized structure of the organization. Senate Republicans had shown a pattern of refusing to consider regulatory agency nominees. Since the CFPB database was established in 2011, more than 730,000 complaints have been published. CFPB supporters include the Consumers Union claim that it is a "vital tool that can help consumers make informed decisions". CFPB detractors argue that the CFPB database is a "gotcha game" and that there is a database maintained by the Federal Trade Commission although that information is not available to the public.
On January 4, 2012, Barack Obama issued a recess appointment to install Cordray as director through the end of 2013. This was a controversial move as the Senate was still holding pro forma sessions, the possibility existed that the appointment could be challenged in court; this type of recess appointment was unanimously ruled unconstitutional in Noel Canning. The constitutionality of Cordray's recess appointment came into question after a January 2013 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for
Maurice Dunlea Hinchey was a U. S. Representative from New York, he was a member of the Democratic Party. He retired at the end of his term in January 2013 after twenty years in Congress. A New York City native who moved to the Hudson Valley where he attended high school and college, Hinchey had represented part of the area in the New York State Assembly since 1975; as chair of that body's Environmental Conservation Committee, he took the lead in bringing environmental issues to the fore when he held hearings on the problems created by toxic waste disposal in the Love Canal neighborhood of Niagara Falls. In his years in Congress he vehemently opposed hydraulic fracturing to exploit the natural gas resources of the Marcellus Shale. Throughout his career he was considered a political progressive for his liberal stands on other issues. Hinchey was born to a working-class family in New York City's Lower West Side, the son of Rose and Maurice D. Hinchey, he spent most of his adult life in New York. After graduating from high school, Hinchey enlisted in the U.
S. Navy, served in the Pacific on the destroyer USS Marshall. After being honorably discharged, he spent two years working as a laborer in a cement plant. While in college he earned his tuition working as a toll collector on the New York State Thruway, he graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz with a B. A. in 1968 and an M. A. in 1970. Hinchey first sought public office in 1972, with an unsuccessful race for the New York State Assembly. Ulster County was a Republican stronghold, but Hinchey ran in 1974, becoming the first Democrat to represent Ulster County since 1912. Hinchey remained in the Assembly until 1992, was a member of the 180th, 181st, 182nd, 183rd, 184th, 185th, 186th, 187th, 188th and 189th New York State Legislatures, he was noted for his work on protecting the natural environment. For fourteen years he chaired the Committee on Environmental Conservation. Hinchey served on the Ways and Means, Banks, Higher Education, Labor and Agriculture committees. During his chairmanship of the Committee on Environmental Conservation, the committee conducted a successful investigation into the causes of "Love Canal," the nation's first major toxic dump site.
During his tenure, he played a crucial role in the passage of the country's first law concerning regulation of acid rain. His committee gained public attention for its investigation of the infiltration of the waste removal industry by organized crime. In 1992, 28th District Congressman Matthew F. McHugh retired after 18 years in the House. Hinchey won the Democratic nomination for the district, renumbered the 26th after New York lost three districts as a result of the 1990 census, he defeated Republican Robert Moppert, a county legislator in Broome County in the November general election by a 50% – 47% margin. In 1994, Hinchey faced Moppert again. Hinchey's district was reconfigured when New York lost two Congressional seats after the 2000 census. Hinchey was threatened with dismemberment of his district or with having to run against a popular and well-established Republican incumbent, either Ben Gilman or Sherwood Boehlert. In the intense political infighting over the redistricting, Hinchey emerged as one of the winners.
To protect two younger Republican incumbents, the Republicans agreed to sacrifice the district of the 79-year-old Gilman, who chose to retire. In return, the Democrats accepted a district that threw together two of their incumbents, Louise Slaughter and John LaFalce, prompting the latter's retirement. Hinchey's district was renumbered the 22nd and winds a narrow, contorted path across eight counties in the southern part of the state, from the Hudson River through the Catskills and Binghamton to Ithaca, connecting the most politically liberal parts of the Southern Tier and Borscht Belt regions; this gerrymandered configuration is similar to the former New York's 26th congressional district. Hinchey ran in Republican areas throughout his career, he is best categorized as having been a progressive populist. For example, he was one of the first and most outspoken opponents of the 2003 war in Iraq, one of only 11 co-sponsors of the Kucinich Resolution to impeach President Bush, he bridged the ideological gap with a reputation for supporting many measures to improve integrity in government, by popular advocacy of strong environmental protection, by diligent constituent services.
He sat on the powerful Appropriations Committee, a post which helped him to deliver federal support on programs important to his district. In 2010, Hinchey was elected to his tenth and final term, with a 52% to 48% margin over Republican George Phillips of Binghamton. Committee on AppropriationsSubcommittee on Defense Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies Congressional Narcotics Abuse and Control Caucus Congressional Native American Caucus Congressional Progressive Caucus. Education Caucus International Conservation Caucus Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus Steel Caucus Congressional Arts CaucusHinchey was one of 31 members of the House who voted to uphold the objection to counting the electoral votes from Ohio in the United States presidential election, 2004 put forth by Ohio Rep. Tubbs Jones in order to encourage "a formal and legitimate debate about election irregularities". On June 18, 2008, he stated: "Should the people of the United States own refineries? Maybe so. Frankly, I think that's a good idea
Connecticut is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, Human Development Index, median household income in the United States, it is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, New York to the west, Long Island Sound to the south. Its capital is Hartford and its most populous city is Bridgeport, it is part of New England, although portions of it are grouped with New York and New Jersey as the Tri-state area. The state is named for the Connecticut River which bisects the state; the word "Connecticut" is derived from various anglicized spellings of an Algonquian word for "long tidal river". Connecticut's first European settlers were Dutchmen who established a small, short-lived settlement called Fort Hoop in Hartford at the confluence of the Park and Connecticut Rivers. Half of Connecticut was part of the Dutch colony New Netherland, which included much of the land between the Connecticut and Delaware Rivers, although the first major settlements were established in the 1630s by the English.
Thomas Hooker led a band of followers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and founded the Connecticut Colony. The Connecticut and New Haven colonies established documents of Fundamental Orders, considered the first constitutions in America. In 1662, the three colonies were merged under a royal charter; this was one of the Thirteen Colonies. Connecticut is the third smallest state by area, the 29th most populous, the fourth most densely populated of the 50 states, it is known as the "Constitution State", the "Nutmeg State", the "Provisions State", the "Land of Steady Habits". It was influential in the development of the federal government of the United States; the Connecticut River, Thames River, ports along Long Island Sound have given Connecticut a strong maritime tradition which continues today. The state has a long history of hosting the financial services industry, including insurance companies in Hartford and hedge funds in Fairfield County. Landmarks and cities of Connecticut Connecticut is bordered on the south by Long Island Sound, on the west by New York, on the north by Massachusetts, on the east by Rhode Island.
The state capital and fourth largest city is Hartford, other major cities and towns include Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury, Danbury, New Britain and Bristol. Connecticut is larger than the country of Montenegro. There are 169 incorporated towns in Connecticut; the highest peak in Connecticut is Bear Mountain in Salisbury in the northwest corner of the state. The highest point is just east of where Connecticut and New York meet, on the southern slope of Mount Frissell, whose peak lies nearby in Massachusetts. At the opposite extreme, many of the coastal towns have areas that are less than 20 feet above sea level. Connecticut has a long maritime history and a reputation based on that history—yet the state has no direct oceanfront; the coast of Connecticut sits on Long Island Sound, an estuary. The state's access to the open Atlantic Ocean is both to the east; this situation provides many safe harbors from ocean storms, many transatlantic ships seek anchor inside Long Island Sound when tropical cyclones pass off the upper East Coast.
The Connecticut River cuts through the center of the state. The most populous metropolitan region centered within the state lies in the Connecticut River Valley. Despite Connecticut's small size, it features wide regional variations in its landscape. Connecticut's rural areas and small towns in the northeast and northwest corners of the state contrast with its industrial cities such as Stamford and New Haven, located along the coastal highways from the New York border to New London northward up the Connecticut River to Hartford. Many towns in northeastern and northwestern Connecticut center around a green, such as the Litchfield Green, Lebanon Green, Wethersfield Green. Near the green stand historical visual symbols of New England towns, such as a white church, a colonial meeting house, a colonial tavern or inn, several colonial houses, so on, establishing a scenic historical appearance maintained for both historic preservation and tourism. Many of the areas in southern and coastal Connecticut have been built up and rebuilt over the years, look less visually like traditional New England.
The northern boundary of the state with Massachusetts is marked by the Southwick Jog or Granby Notch, an 2.5 miles square detour into Connecticut. The origin of this anomaly is established in a long line of disputes and temporary agreements which were concluded in 1804, when southern Southwick's residents sought to leave Massachusetts, the town was split in half; the southwestern border of Connecticut where it abuts New York State is marked by a panhandle in Fairfield County, containing the towns of Greenwich, New Canaan and parts of Norwalk and Wilton. This irregularity in the boundary is the result of territorial disputes in the late 17th century, culminating
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, it was the longest and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline; the Great Depression started in the United States after a major fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929, became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929. Between 1929 and 1932, worldwide gross domestic product fell by an estimated 15%. By comparison, worldwide GDP fell by less than 1% from 2008 to 2009 during the Great Recession; some economies started to recover by the mid-1930s. However, in many countries the negative effects of the Great Depression lasted until the beginning of World War II; the Great Depression had devastating effects in countries both poor. Personal income, tax revenue and prices dropped, while international trade plunged by more than 50%.
Unemployment in the U. S. rose to 25% and in some countries rose as high as 33%. Cities around the world were hit hard those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was halted in many countries. Farming communities and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by about 60%. Facing plummeting demand with few alternative sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sector industries such as mining and logging suffered the most. Economic historians attribute the start of the Great Depression to the sudden devastating collapse of U. S. stock market prices on October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday. However, some dispute this conclusion and see the stock crash as a symptom, rather than a cause, of the Great Depression. After the Wall Street Crash of 1929 optimism persisted for some time. John D. Rockefeller said "These are days. In the 93 years of my life, depressions have gone. Prosperity has always returned and will again." The stock market turned upward in early 1930. This was still 30% below the peak of September 1929.
Together and business spent more in the first half of 1930 than in the corresponding period of the previous year. On the other hand, many of whom had suffered severe losses in the stock market the previous year, cut back their expenditures by 10%. In addition, beginning in the mid-1930s, a severe drought ravaged the agricultural heartland of the U. S. By mid-1930, interest rates had dropped to low levels, but expected deflation and the continuing reluctance of people to borrow meant that consumer spending and investment were depressed. By May 1930, automobile sales had declined to below the levels of 1928. Prices in general began to decline, although wages held steady in 1930. A deflationary spiral started in 1931. Farmers faced a worse outlook. At its peak, the Great Depression saw nearly 10% of all Great Plains farms change hands despite federal assistance; the decline in the U. S. economy was the factor. Frantic attempts to shore up the economies of individual nations through protectionist policies, such as the 1930 U.
S. Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act and retaliatory tariffs in other countries, exacerbated the collapse in global trade. By 1933, the economic decline had pushed world trade to one-third of its level just four years earlier. Change in economic indicators 1929–32 The two classical competing theories of the Great Depression are the Keynesian and the monetarist explanation. There are various heterodox theories that downplay or reject the explanations of the Keynesians and monetarists; the consensus among demand-driven theories is that a large-scale loss of confidence led to a sudden reduction in consumption and investment spending. Once panic and deflation set in, many people believed they could avoid further losses by keeping clear of the markets. Holding money became profitable as prices dropped lower and a given amount of money bought more goods, exacerbating the drop in demand. Monetarists believe that the Great Depression started as an ordinary recession, but the shrinking of the money supply exacerbated the economic situation, causing a recession to descend into the Great Depression.
Economists and economic historians are evenly split as to whether the traditional monetary explanation that monetary forces were the primary cause of the Great Depression is right, or the traditional Keynesian explanation that a fall in autonomous spending investment, is the primary explanation for the onset of the Great Depression. Today the controversy is of lesser importance since there is mainstream support for the debt deflation theory and the expectations hypothesis that building on the monetary explanation of Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz add non-monetary explanations. There is consensus that the Federal Reserve System should have cut short the process of monetary deflation and banking collapse. If they had done this, the economic downturn would have been much shorter. British economist John Maynard Keynes argued in The General Theory of Employment and Money that lower aggregate expenditures in the economy contributed to a massive decline in income and to employment, well below the average.
In such a situation, the economy reached equilibrium at low levels of economic activity and high unemployment. Keynes' basic idea was simple
Paul Adolph Volcker Jr. is an American economist. He was Chairman of the Federal Reserve under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan from August 1979 to August 1987, he is credited with ending the high levels of inflation seen in the United States during the 1970s and early 1980s. He was the chairman of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board under President Barack Obama from February 2009 until January 2011. Volcker was born to a Jewish family in Cape May, New Jersey, the son of Alma Louise and Paul Adolph Volcker. All his grandparents were German immigrants. Volcker grew up in New Jersey, where his father was the township's first municipal manager. Paul Sr. thrived in the role for 20 years as he improved the burgeoning town's economic stability and the local government's effectiveness. Paul Jr. has three younger siblings: Ruth and Virginia. As a child, he attended his mother's Lutheran church. Volcker graduated from Teaneck High School in 1945, but not before he participated in several student groups and impressed his peers and teachers with his knowledge of politics.
Volcker's undergraduate education was at Princeton University. In his senior thesis, Volcker criticized the Federal Reserve's post-WWII policies for failing to curb inflationary pressures. Following a summer as a research assistant at the New York Fed, he moved to Harvard University to earn an M. A. in political economy from its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Graduate School of Public Administration. He worked a second summer as a New York Fed research assistant before graduating in 1951. After Harvard, Volcker attended the London School of Economics from 1951 to 1952 as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Fellow under Rotary's Ambassadorial Scholarships program. In 1952 he joined the staff of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as a full-time economist, he left that position in 1957 to become a financial economist with the Chase Manhattan Bank. In 1962, Robert Roosa, his mentor at the Federal Reserve, hired him at the Treasury Department as director of financial analysis. In 1963, he became deputy under secretary for monetary affairs.
He returned to Chase Manhattan Bank as vice president and director of planning in 1965. Appointed by the Nixon Administration, Volcker served as under secretary of the Treasury for international monetary affairs from 1969 to 1974, he played an important role in President Nixon's decision to suspend gold convertibility of the dollar on August 15, 1971, which resulted in the collapse of the Bretton Woods system. Volcker considers the suspension of gold convertibility "the single most important event of his career." Because of his position as under secretary, Volcker served as a board member for OPIC and Fannie Mae. Across the policies he worked on, he acted as a moderating influence on policy, advocating the pursuit of an international solution to monetary problems and acting as a negotiator with other nations' policymakers. After leaving the U. S. Treasury, he spent a year as a senior fellow at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. In 1975, he became president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, he retained that role until he became Federal Reserve Chair in August 1979.
President Jimmy Carter nominated Paul Volcker to serve as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on July 25, 1979. He was confirmed by the Senate on August 2, 1979, took office on August 6, 1979. President Ronald Reagan renominated Volcker to a second term in 1983. Inflation emerged as an political challenge in the United States during the 1970s; the monetary policies of the Federal Reserve board, led by Volcker, were credited with curbing the rate of inflation and expectations that inflation would continue. US inflation, which peaked at 14.8 percent in March 1980, fell below 3 percent by 1983. The Federal Reserve board led by Volcker raised the federal funds rate, which had averaged 11.2% in 1979, to a peak of 20% in June 1981. The prime rate rose to 21.5% in 1981 as well, which helped lead to the 1980–1982 recession, in which the national unemployment rate rose to over 10%. Volcker's Federal Reserve board elicited the strongest political attacks and most widespread protests in the history of the Federal Reserve, due to the effects of high interest rates on the construction and industrial sectors, culminating in indebted farmers driving their tractors onto C Street NW in Washington, D.
C. and blockading the Eccles Building. US monetary policy eased in 1982. Volcker's high interest rate caused drastic drops in investment into the real economy. One sector hit hard was machine tools; the birthplace of replaceable metal parts is New England, in 1980 that region was still the center of the US machine tool sector. By 1981, firms, in business for a hundred years had steep layoffs, major cuts in pay. At Brown and Sharpe in Rhode Island, violent conflict between striking workers and the police set in. In Springfield, Vermont and Lamson went into steep decline and was sold by 1989 to a financial engineer. In New Hampshire, Kingsbury Machine Tool went from 3 shifts a day with hefty bonuses to laying off hundreds between 1982 and 1989; the late seventies were a time when Japanese productivity was rising, so that internally to Japan, machine tools fell in price by 12%. The dollar should have depreciated given the relative fall in prices of Japanese tradables, so that the now-cheaper Japanese products would have remained at a p
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 known as the "Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act" and "Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Transparency Act" and more called Sarbanes–Oxley, Sarbox or SOX, is a United States federal law that set new or expanded requirements for all U. S. public company boards and public accounting firms. A number of provisions of the Act apply to held companies, such as the willful destruction of evidence to impede a federal investigation; the bill, which contains eleven sections, was enacted as a reaction to a number of major corporate and accounting scandals, including Enron and WorldCom. The sections of the bill cover responsibilities of a public corporation's board of directors, add criminal penalties for certain misconduct, require the Securities and Exchange Commission to create regulations to define how public corporations are to comply with the law. In 2002, Sarbanes-Oxley was named after bill sponsors U. S. Senator Paul Sarbanes and U. S.
Representative Michael G. Oxley; as a result of SOX, top management must individually certify the accuracy of financial information. In addition, penalties for fraudulent financial activity are much more severe. SOX increased the oversight role of boards of directors and the independence of the outside auditors who review the accuracy of corporate financial statements; the bill, which contains eleven sections, was enacted as a reaction to a number of major corporate and accounting scandals, including those affecting Enron, Tyco International, Peregrine Systems, WorldCom. These scandals cost investors billions of dollars when the share prices of affected companies collapsed, shook public confidence in the US securities markets; the act contains eleven titles, or sections, ranging from additional corporate board responsibilities to criminal penalties, requires the Securities and Exchange Commission to implement rulings on requirements to comply with the law. Harvey Pitt, the 26th chairman of the SEC, led the SEC in the adoption of dozens of rules to implement the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
It created a new, quasi-public agency, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB, charged with overseeing, regulating and disciplining accounting firms in their roles as auditors of public companies. The act covers issues such as auditor independence, corporate governance, internal control assessment, enhanced financial disclosure; the nonprofit arm of Financial Executives International, Financial Executives Research Foundation, completed extensive research studies to help support the foundations of the act. The act was approved in the House by a vote of 423 in favor, 3 opposed, 8 abstaining and in the Senate with a vote of 99 in favor and 1 abstaining. President George W. Bush signed it into law, stating it included "the most far-reaching reforms of American business practices since the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt; the era of low standards and false profits is over. In response to the perception that stricter financial governance laws are needed, SOX-type regulations were subsequently enacted in Canada, South Africa, Australia, Japan, Italy and Turkey.
Debates continued as of 2007 over the perceived benefits and costs of SOX. Opponents of the bill have claimed it has reduced America's international competitive edge against foreign financial service providers because it has introduced an overly complex regulatory environment into US financial markets. A study commissioned by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and US Sen. Chuck Schumer, cited this as one reason America's financial sector is losing market share to other financial centers worldwide. Proponents of the measure said that SOX has been a "godsend" for improving the confidence of fund managers and other investors with regard to the veracity of corporate financial statements; the 10th anniversary of SOX coincided with the passing of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, designed to give emerging companies an economic boost, cutting back on a number of regulatory requirements. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Title I consists of nine sections and establishes the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, to provide independent oversight of public accounting firms providing audit services.
It creates a central oversight board tasked with registering auditors, defining the specific processes and procedures for compliance audits and policing conduct and quality control, enforcing compliance with the specific mandates of SOX. Auditor Independence Title II consists of nine sections and establishes standards for external auditor independence, to limit conflicts of interest, it addresses new auditor approval requirements, audit partner rotation, auditor reporting requirements. It restricts auditing companies from providing non-audit services for the same clients. Corporate Responsibility Title III consists of eight sections and mandates that senior executives take individual responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of corporate financial reports, it defines the interaction of external auditors and corporate audit committees, specifies the responsibility of corporate officers for the accuracy and validity of corporate financial reports. It enumerates specific limits on the behaviors of corporate officers and describes specific forfeitures of benefits and civil penalties for non-compliance.
For example, Section 302 requires that the company's "