Public option rejected by Senate Finance Committee
By Ellen Przepasniak  •  Sep 30, 2009 at 03:42 EST

Two proposals for a public health option from Sens. Chuck Schumer and Jay Rockefeller are shot down yesterday. (NYT)

Rebuilding the FDIC‘s reserve funds may cost top banks $10 billion a piece. (Bloomberg)

CEO Jamie Dimon shuffles around his top execs at JP Morgan Chase. (FT)

Hartford taps Liam McGee for its top post, a former Bank of America and Wells Fargo exec. (WSJ)

First Lady Michelle Obama flies to Copenhagen to support Chicago’s Olympic bid for 2016; she will be joined by her husband Friday. (Reuters)

Public option in the spotlight
By Kevin Connor  •  Sep 29, 2009 at 06:16 EST

The Senate Finance committee will consider the public option today. (TPM)

Exelon leaves the Chamber of Commerce over differences on climate change. “The carbon-based free lunch is over,” said John Rowe, CEO of the large utility company. (NYT)

Reid secured a deal for home state of Nevada in Baucus bill: the federal government will pay 100% of new Medicaid costs. (NYT)

The FDIC is likely to propose that most banks pre-pay three years worth of fees in order to replenish the funds it uses to insure accounts. (WSJ)

Obama goes to work for Chicago
By Kevin Connor  •  Sep 28, 2009 at 05:58 EST

Obama will travel to Copenhagen to try to bring the Olympics to Chicago in 2016. (WSJ)

Bush White House veterans credit Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner with “tempering the populist impulses of other Obama advisers.” Geithner successfully pushed for the re-appointment of Fed chair Ben Bernanke. (NYT)

Senators Schumer and Rockefeller will offer amendments this week to add the public option to the Baucus bill. (The Hill)

Wordsmith William Safire dies at 79. (NYT)

The New York Times puts Liz Cheney, daughter of Dick, in the spotlight as an emerging Republican activist with a future in politics. (NYT)

After fraud settlement, Kirk decided to pay insurance CEO $21.5 million
By Kevin Connor  •  Sep 24, 2009 at 11:42 EST

The same year that Hartford Insurance settled a $20 million fraud suit with the state of New York, board member and compensation chair Paul Kirk decided to make the company’s CEO the second-highest paid executive in the insurance industry.

Today, Kirk was named Kennedy’s successor in the Senate by Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick.

Sunlight’s Paul Blumenthal detailed Paul Kirk’s corporate ties in a post this morning, highlighting his role on Hartford Financial Services’ compensation committee and his past lobbying work for Aventis pharmaceuticals. He also noted that Kirk helped make CEO Ramani Ayer one of the most overpaid executives in the country, according to Forbes, with compensation of $9 million in 2008. The New York Times chose to report exactly none of this in an article posted this afternoon.

The Hartford is an insurance company, so it wasn’t very hard to find areas where they’ve run afoul of the law. Seriously: google “Hartford Financial” fraud. There you have it: in 2006, the company agreed to pay $20 million to settle an investigation by New York and Connecticut into fraudulent sales of retirement products:

Read more…

Longtime confidant will take Kennedy’s seat
By Kevin Connor  •  Sep 24, 2009 at 06:56 EST

Rumor has it that Kennedy friend Paul Kirk is set to take the late Senator’s seat, though there has been no official word from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. (NYT)

Bill Nelson, Senator from Florida, is fighting proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage. (NYT)

Former Fed chair Paul Volcker will warn Congress today of “intractable problem” at heart of Obama financial reform efforts, but support Fed power in all its forms. (FT)

The FBI is investigating the hanging of a part-time Census Bureau worker in Kentucky, who was found with the word “Fed” scrawled on his chest. (WaPo)

Findings from Hewlett-Packard Research
By kyle  •  Sep 23, 2009 at 11:26 EST

Being one of the largest and most-established producers of consumer technology in the world, it is no surprise that Hewlett-Packard maintains a dominating presence within northern California’s business, commerce, and and information networks.

(Want to learn more about the ties behind the Bay Area’s biggest companies? Donate to our investigation on Spot.Us.)

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Baucus offers higher subsidies, other changes to healthcare bill
By kyle  •  Sep 23, 2009 at 05:49 EST

The new markup of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus‘s healthcare proposal offers higher subsidies for the financially strapped, and limits penalties and those affected by a new tax. The overhaul is expected to return favor from key Republican Senator Olympia Snowe. (LATimes)

The Massachusetts Senate voted to allow Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick the final vote on the interim replacement for Sen. Ted Kennedy. The replacement Senator is likely to be a democrat, which may help Obama overcome Republican attempts to block health reform. (Reuters)

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf will add the title of Chairman when Dick Kovacevich retires early next year. (SFGate)

Pacific Gas and Electric Company publicly announced plans to leave the US Chamber of Commerce, citing irreconcilable difference with the “extreme position on climate change” maintained by the latter. (SFGate)

Tribune Co.‘s recently-announced plans to sell the Chicago Cubs are likely to be challenged by the IRS. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Blue Dog Ross has some explaining to do
By Kevin Connor  •  Sep 22, 2009 at 06:00 EST

Blue Dog Democrat Mike Ross, a key voice in the healthcare debate, sold commercial property to an Arkansas-based pharmacy chain for much more than its appraised value in 2007. (ProPublica)

The Fed turns down request from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to conduct a public review of the institution’s structure and governance. (Bloomberg)

Sheila Bair and other senior regulators at the FDIC are seriously considering borrowing from the banks they regulate in order to avoid tapping a Treasury credit line. Banks and their lobbyists support the plan. (NYT)

From the UN to the Clinton Global Initiative and back again, Obama has a busy day in the Big Apple today. (NYT)

Honduran coup leader Roberto Micheletti uses the pages of the Washington Post to argue that there was no coup in Honduras. (WaPo)

Towns presses BofA for merger secrets
By Kevin Connor  •  Sep 21, 2009 at 05:41 EST

A Congressional panel led by Ed Towns is pressing Bank of America to reveal information about merger-related conversations with Merrill Lynch at the end of last year.   (NYT)

Paterson will press on with campaign for NY governor, despite Obama’s unease with his poll numbers. (Bloomberg)

The so-called Cadillac plan tax in the Baucus bill will affect a wide range of insurance vehicles, including policies held by coal miners in Senator Jay Rockefeller‘s state, West Virginia. (NYT)

IRS amnesty program for foreign account holders is extended until October 15. (WSJ)

Dell is set to buy Perot Systems for nearly $4 billion. (Reuters)

Note:  Ellen is on the west coast this week, so I will be filling in to write the namewire news summaries. -Kevin

Possible successor to Kennedy is top pharma lobbyist
By Kevin Connor  •  Sep 18, 2009 at 13:18 EST

A possible candidate for Senator Kennedy’s seat has spent the last ten years building the biggest pharmaceutical lobbying practice in the country.

Nick Littlefield is chair of the lobbying group at Boston law firm Foley Hoag, which has raced to the top of the pharma lobbying charts over the last several years. In the first half of 2009, the firm raked in $2.6 million from pharma — more lobbying cash from pharmaceutical interests over the course of six months than any law firm in history, according to a review of lobbying data from Open Secrets.

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