Meet Mr. Ticker. He’s the hypothetical rogue banker described in Washington’s newly proposed rule to reform Wall Street pay.

Six federal agencies charged with overseeing Wall Street — from credit unions to mega-banks — are proposing rules to implement Section 956 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This section charges them to write rules that prevent “excessive” pay packages that lead to “inappropriate risk-taking.”

The proposed rule spans 280 pages, most of which consists of explanation of the rule. The actual rule is about 20 of these pages. In an effort to communicate in “plain English,” the agencies describe hypothetical bankers Ms. Ledger (who’s honest) and Mr. Ticker (who’s not).

In the inevitably prudish lexicon of the banking agencies, “Mr. Ticker is a significant risk-taker who is the senior manager of a trader and a trading desk that engaged in inappropriate risk-taking in calendar year 2021, which was discovered on March 1, 2024. The activity of the trader, and several other members of the same trading desk, resulted in an enforcement proceeding against ABC and the imposition of a significant fine.”

Restated, Mr. Ticker and his team manipulated markets, and successfully hid it from the board for three years.

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By Emily Gardner

Each year on April 28, our nation pauses to commemorate Workers’ Memorial Day.  We take time to remember the workers who lost their lives, as well as those who suffer from a debilitating workplace injury or illness. An estimated 12 people in the U.S. die from a work-related injury every day. In 2014 alone, approximately 4,800 workers died on the job.

While there is much construction workers more work to be done to prevent these tragedies, we must also take time to celebrate the hard-fought victories for workplace safety and health.  For example, on Thursday, March 24, OSHA published its long-awaited silica rule updating the standard that protects workers from exposure to crystalline silica dust. The new standard could save up to 600 lives and prevent 900 new cases of silicosis a year, according to OSHA.

Looking ahead, safety and health advocates should continue to fight for reforms that will ensure that workers – especially those in dangerous industries like construction – don’t have to risk their lives for a paycheck.

It’s no secret that construction workers are at high risk of serious injuries and even death when they show up to work. Whether they work in Maryland, Washington, California, or New York, (some of the places Public Citizen has examined before), construction workers face speeding traffic, toxic chemicals, and trench collapses, among many other hazards. In Texas, the situation is no different. With a booming construction industry and a large construction workforce, Texas is one of the most dangerous states in the nation for construction workers, many of whom are immigrants from Mexico and Central America.

A report issued today by the Workers Defense Project and Public Citizen highlights the devastating toll worksite fatalities and injuries take on Texas construction workers, their families, and communities. This report is a part of a series of city and state reports estimating the costs of deaths and injuries in the construction industry. According to the report:

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By Michell K. McIntyre

In the last year of the Obama administration many important worker protections are finally emerging – a stronger health standard for exposure to silica dust that will prevent more than 600 deaths from an agonizing disease, a fiduciary rule that makes financial advisors act in the best interest of their clients (shouldn’t they already be doing this?) and a soon-to-be released updated overtime pay safeguard that means millions of hardworking Americans will get a raise.

more family time

Worker advocates, economists, and unions have been working with the administration and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for years to make this change a reality. The expected rule will modernize and restore the protections of overtime pay that will result in millions of salaried employees being paid for the work they do beyond the standard 40 hours per week.

The middle class is working longer and harder than ever while corporate profits are skyrocketing, yet incomes remain stagnant. It’s not just political rhetoric that over the last 40 years the rules of the game have become rigged in favor of big business and the 1 percent.

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Calling a constitutional convention to pass a balanced budget amendment is a catastrophic idea that is gaining an alarming amount of momentum.

A balanced budget amendment would force the government to prioritize an arbitrary bottom line over investing in public priorities and protecting civil liberties.

Instead of supporting the economy and strengthening social welfare, this shortsighted, austerity-on-steroids policy would prioritize federal debts over the American people. Such an apathetic policy would resemble the local government’s flawed priorization of paying off bank debts over providing safe drinking water for families in Flint, Michigan – but on a far larger, national scale.

Funding for vital public programs is already under constant attack in the annual numbers, money, calculatingbudgeting process – as conservatives are constantly fighting to de-fund the programs and agencies advocating for consumers, working families, and the environment. By adding in the potential for massive yearly fluctuations in funding based on GDP, essential public programs would be even more at risk of losing funding in the pursuit of austerity measures.

Yet a constitutional convention on a balanced budget is scarily possible.

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On March 23, the D.C. Public Service Commission (PSC) approved Exelon’s takeover of Pepco in a contentious 2-1 vote. Within hours, Exelon dissolved Pepco by suspending the trading of Pepco stock. This move resulted in $1.6 billion windfall for shareholders – a nice chunk of which went to Pepco executives – and allowed Exelon to claim that the deal was done.

Pepco’s CEO Joe Rigby, cashed out nearly $25 million in Pepco stock before retiring and turning the Pepco (a company of Exelon) reigns over to David Velazquez (who made $5 million on the sale).

But in Exelon’s haste to make it rain for Pepco shareholders, it cast aside one important detail:

Exelon’s takeover of Pepco still has two hurdles to clear.  worse-than-pepco.2

Opponents of the takeover have 30 days to ask the PSC for reconsideration, meaning they can appeal to the commission to change its mind and undo the merger. If reconsideration fails, opponents can then appeal to the D.C. Court of Appeals.

Exelon’s move to consummate the takeover just hours after the PSC vote to approve is a deliberate move to abridge the rights of opponents of the deal. It runs afoul of Exelon’s own argument that an order is not final until the commission has ruled on a parties’ request for reconsideration and it reveals a core component of Exelon’s strategy to handicap legal challenges to the takeover.

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