On October 3, 2008, President George W. Bush signed into law the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. Also known as the Bank Bailout Bill, the president and the lobbyists from the financial sector pushed hard to get this bill passed, and quickly.
In the fall of 2008 our financial sector brought the United States of America and the world economies to the brink of collapse. We still haven't recovered. The U.S. taxpayers bailed out the major banks in hope of preventing a total collapse and so the lending banks would start investing in the productive economy, to fuel an economic recovery. Instead these banks are receiving taxpayer-financed 0% interest loans through the Federal Reserve and investing in Government Bonds that have a 3% return on investment. In the process they have given themselves billions of dollars in bonuses. In 2009 the 40 largest banks, a few thousand individuals, gave themselves $148,000,000,000 (billion) in bonuses.
Both the Republican and Democratic Parties receive huge amounts of bribe/campaign contributions from the financial industry and have failed to pass any meaningful legislation to get this reckless behavior in check. In fact, the banks that were bailed out are now even bigger than before the crisis began. Why aren't people being charged and convicted of crimes throughout this whole ordeal? It is because the lobbying efforts and the corruption of our government officials have made everything they are doing legal.
Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup. These four banks manage and control:
* 50% of mortgages in America
* 66% of credit cards in America
* An accumulated $7,400,000,000,000 (trillion) in assets, which is around half of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP)
Since no structural reform has been applied to our financial sector, these banks will fail again and the United States will not have the ability to bail them out, AGAIN. What happens to our country then? The largest six banks in our economy went from having 17% of GDP in total assets in the mid 1990s to having 63% of GDP in total assets in 2010.
Solutions for the Short and Long Term
* Enforcement of Sherman Anti-Trust Laws upon banks that are "too big to fail"
* Interest rate credit card cap
* Open the books up to the Federal Reserve
* Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, separating lending banks and investment banks and FDIC insured money can no longer be gambled by investment banks.
* Repeal the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act 1999
* Repeal the Commodities and Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (the so called Enron loophole)
Proposed Legislation That I Support
* S. 2746. This bill addresses the concept of "Too Big to Fail" with respect to certain financial entities and would help enforce the Sherman Anti-Trust Laws.
* H.R. 2424. The Federal Reserve Credit Facility Act of 2009. Would authorize the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to audit the Federal Reserve
* H.R. 4191. Let Wall Street Pay for the Restoration of Main Street Act of 2009. STET tax of 0.25% transaction fee on Wall Street to help control speculation and bubble economies.
* S.2914. United States Employer Ownership Bank Act. This would begin to create federal incentives for employer-owned banks or state-owned banks.
* S. 582. Interest Rate Reduction Act. A bill to amend the Truth in Lending Act to protect consumers from usury or in other words high interest rates and for other purposes.