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by Pat Garofalo
Three Years Later, GOP Keeps Fighting Financial Reform
The financial crisis that nearly torpedoed the global economy began in earnest three years ago this week with the September 15 bankruptcy of the investment house
Lehman's bankruptcy was the largest in American history, and the credit panic that followed it set the stage for the reviled (but vital) programs that became symbols of the nation's financial meltdown: the
Bailing out Wall Street back then was a necessary evil, as AIG's bailout revealed in dramatic fashion. It gave the public its first look at companies that had become "too big to fail," financial institutions that were too entangled with each other to be allowed to collapse lest they drag the rest of the global financial system and global economy down with them.
In the Great Recession that followed, 14 million people lost their jobs, and
So Main Street is still hurting.
But the Wall Street banks that created the U.S. housing bubble to supercharge their profits are largely healed, making record profits and handing out escalating bonuses. And the fixes to safeguard our financial system following the September 2008 crash are not yet in place.
In fact, many are being actively blocked by congressional Republicans who seem more interested in doing the bidding of Wall Street's behemoths than in protecting the financial system from experiencing another meltdown.
Last July, President Obama signed into law the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the most thorough rewriting of our nation's financial regulations since the New Deal. While not going so far as to break up the biggest banks or force them to wall off their risky trading desks, the law still goes a long way toward building a more secure financial system that works for consumers, not just for the top executives at the biggest banks and their shareholders.
Problem is, House Republicans are blocking the funding necessary to implement the new law.
Senate Republicans also refuse to confirm any director for the
Such indifference to the pain that Americans across the country are still feeling as a result of monumental Wall Street malfeasance is as stunning as it is calculated. When Republicans won control of the
Pat Garofalo is economic policy editor for ThinkProgress.org at the
Republicans Keep Helping Wall Street and Banks Over Main Street | Politics
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