Friday, July 16, 2010

Wall Street Reform Bill / The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


The so called Wall Street Reform bill passed but it was actually a victory for the Lobbyists, who literally bought the Senate who defanged the House Bill and left America vulnerable to eventually another financial crisis: Allen L Roland

I guess this was all you could expect from an Obama administration who would much rather deal with the corporate owned old boy network in the Senate than the upstart will of the people in the House so here it is ~ the good, the bad and the ugly. The Bill ( The Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, H.R.4173 ) appears to be a feeble attempt to get Wall Street to invest in a productive job-creating economy versus gambling on risky investments ~ by using increased regulation without badly needed incentives.

The Good ~ The bill includes Bernie Sanders' amendment lifting the veil of secrecy at the Federal Reserve.~ in that American people will finally know all of the names of the financial institutions, corporations, and foreign central banks that received over $2 trillion in secret loans and other financial assistance from the Fed ~ but not until after the mid-term elections on December 1st.

The creation of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is good, but it could have been much, much better. Unfortunately, it will be housed at the Fed and it won't be able to regulate interest rates on credit cards. Right now, over 25% of American credit card holders are paying more than 20% interest on their credit cards.

Huffington Post reports that on the very day the Senate passed Wall Street reform and created a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Treasury Sec. Tim Geithner is urging President Obama NOT to appoint the most credible person as its leader ~ Elizabeth Warren.
Warren's credentials are impeccable. She was the one who came up with the idea for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ~ which is perhaps the best piece of this bill and obviously a threat to the financially elite.

Elizabeth Warren should be Main Street's voice at the Financial table and the financial elite, led by their lackey, Tim Geithner, are terrified of that prospect ~ and well they should be ! Here's a short video clip of Warren in action quizing a visibly nervous and defensive Geithner about Bank accountability ~

In short, Warren is perfect for the position and most financial insiders have just assumed she would get it. That's why it's so outrageous that Geithner ~ a longtime Wall Street insider ~ would attempt to sabotage her appointment. Sign our petition to President Obama in support of Elizabeth Warren today. Click here -- then tell your friends.

The Bad ~ The bill does not do enough to stop too big to fail banks from gambling trillions of dollars in risky derivatives and credit default swaps ~ whereas banks will still be able to keep gambling a substantial amount of money in derivatives while having access to the discount window at the Fed as well as deposit insurance protecting them if their risky bets don’t pay off.

The Ugly ~ The bill does not break-up too big to fail banks that nearly drove the entire economy off of a cliff nearly two years ago. Right now, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo are bigger today than they were before the financial crisis. The repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, by the Clinton administration in 1998, effectively removed the separation that previously existed between Wall Street investment banks and depository banks which led to the dangerous financial excesses of the Bush years. That ugly reality still exists and could eventually lead to another financial crisis.

Once again, Americans wanted real change with teeth and got token change with lip service ~ which seems to be the ongoing theme of the Obama administration as well as the President himself.

Allen L Roland

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Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist and psychotherapist Allen L Roland is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations ( )

Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his
weblog and website He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on

Cartoon courtesy of Tom Toles / Washington Post


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