FINANCIAL SYSTEM REFORM

ABSTRACT: The need for financial system reform was made clear by the 2008 crash. One of the goals of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law was to end speculative trading by large financial corporations that are also banks because it has the potential to jeopardize consumer deposits. However, speculative trading has continued.

Therefore, a tri-partisan group of Senators, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has recently proposed new legislation, the 21st Century Glass Steagall Act, that would require the separation of speculative trading and consumer bank deposits. You can sign on as a citizen sponsor of this proposed federal legislation at: http://my.elizabethwarren.com/page/s/glass-steagall?source=20130711emf.

Senator Warren was on CNBC to talk about the importance of this new legislation. You can watch the informative and entertaining video clip (under 3 minutes) at: http://gawker.com/nbc-censors-video-of-elizabeth-warren-taking-cnbc-to-th-837411782.

FULL POST: The need for financial system reform was made clear by the 2008 crash. We are now at the third anniversary of the passage of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. However, implementation has been slow, due to the complexity of the law, efforts by the large financial corporations to block and delay it, and obstructionism by Republicans, particularly in the Senate. For example, a Director for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created by Dodd-Frank, was finally approved by the Senate on July 17. (See post of 7/26/12 for background.)

One of the goals of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law was to end speculative trading by large financial corporations that are also banks. Such trading has the potential to generate large losses that could jeopardize consumer deposits at these banks, requiring a federal government bailout. Dodd-Frank and the so-called Volcker Rule were supposed to end such trading. However, speculative trading has continued. (See posts of 5/31/12 and 5/29/12 for more details.)

Therefore, a tri-partisan group of Senators, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has recently proposed new legislation, the 21st Century Glass Steagall Act, that would require the separation of speculative trading and consumer bank deposits.

You can sign on as a citizen sponsor of this proposed federal legislation at: http://my.elizabethwarren.com/page/s/glass-steagall?source=20130711emf. It will reduce risk-taking by big financial corporations that enjoy federal insurance of depositors’ money, thereby reducing the risk of another government bailout of these huge corporations and enhancing the safety of consumer deposits.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (Democrat, MA), an expert on the financial system, states that we need to learn from the financial crisis of 2008 and, moving forward, to prevent the kinds of high-risk activities that made a few people rich but nearly destroyed our economy. She has joined forces with Senators John McCain (Republican, AZ), Maria Cantwell (Democrat, WA), and Angus King (Independent, ME) to introduce the 21st Century Glass Steagall Act to modernize core banking safety.

This legislation would reinstate some of the protections of the original Glass Steagall Act put in place after the Great Depression but repealed in 1999. For over 50 years before this repeal, the banking system was stable and our middle class grew stronger. Wall Street had spent 66 years and millions of dollars lobbying for repeal, and, eventually, the big financial corporations won.

This new law will rebuild a firewall between the banks where American families have checking and savings accounts, and the investment banks that engage in risky financial speculation. It will make sure Wall Street doesn’t gamble with your money, and will help prevent another financial crisis. The bill will give a five year transition period for financial institutions to split their business practices into distinct entities – shrinking their size and taking an important step toward ending “Too Big to Fail” once and for all, while minimizing the risk of future bailouts.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures our banks to keep your money safe. That way, when you want to withdraw your money, you know the money will be there. That’s what makes our banking system safe and dependable. But the government should NOT be insuring hedge funds, swaps dealing, and other risky investment banking activities. When the same institutions that take these huge risks are also the ones that control your savings account, the entire banking system is riskier.

This is an important bill that will implement the lessons we learned from the 2008 crisis and make sure we hold Wall St. accountable. Click here to become a citizen sponsor of the new 21st Century Glass Steagall Act. (Paste the following address into your web browser if the link doesn’t work: http://my.elizabethwarren.com/page/s/glass-steagall?source=20130711emf.)

Senator Warren was on CNBC to talk about the importance of this new legislation. The video clip of Warren’s appearance was on You Tube, but CNBC and NBC in effect censored it, claiming copyright infringement. They did so, apparently, because Warren did such a good job of defending the legislation and, in the process, made the CNBC commentators look bad because they were critical of the legislation and tried to attack Warren and her arguments for the legislation. This is a reflection of how our mainstream media, which are all big corporations themselves, report on – or in many cases don’t report on – news that is not favorable to corporate America.

You can read an article about this censorship and watch the informative and entertaining video clip (under 3 minutes) at: http://gawker.com/nbc-censors-video-of-elizabeth-warren-taking-cnbc-to-th-837411782. (Paste the address above into your web browser if the link doesn’t work automatically.)

NOTE: Please let me know by submitting a comment on this post if you would like me to continue sharing links to on-line petitions on issues I have written about. These petitions are an easy way to express your opinion and increase its weight by combining it with that of others. The effectiveness of these petitions varies greatly based on a wide range of factors, but there’s little downside given how quick and easy it is to do. Each petition also will give you a link to the advocacy organization sponsoring it. If it’s an issue you are particularly interested in, you may want to engage directly with the organization. One forewarning: in many cases when you sign a petition the sponsoring organization will put you on their email list. In some cases, there is a check box on the petition that you can uncheck if you don’t want the organization to start sending you information. You can, of course, always unsubscribe via any email you get from such an organization

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