As the news that J.P. Morgan Chase lost at least $2 billion on risky derivative bets sheds new light on Congresswoman Biggert's role in creating the financial crisis, it also spotlights her record of opposing meaningful reforms to prevent recurrences of the mess she helped create.
Flashback 1999: Congresswoman Biggert voted for the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services reforms. These "reforms" tore down the regulations that were set up to stabilize the banking industry after the Great Depression. In the eight years of Republican control that followed, she served on the Financial Services Committee that supervised the development of the completely unregulated "shadow banking system" that fueled the mortgage crisis and allowed dangerous levels of debt and leverage to permeate all areas of the financial services industry. In vote after vote, she supported the interests of the Wall Street risk-takers who supported her campaigns rather than the best interests of middle class Americans.
Flashback 2010: Following the Wall Street crash that brought our economy to the brink, Congresswoman Biggert refused to support common sense reforms to clean up our financial system. Biggert opposed The Wall Street Reform Act that ended bailouts for Too Big To Fail banks and created new mechanisms to manage the risks posed by massive Wall Street firms. It also created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to prevent Wall Street banks from preying on consumers. But even now, Congresswoman Biggert has pushed to repeal and obstruct these reforms and leave Wall Street's risky bets unchecked.
"Left unchecked, Wall Street has a history of gambling with the security and stability of our middle class and small businesses, and Congress has a fundamental responsibility to keep in place rules to prevent these high risk trades and staggering losses from endangering our economy," said Bill Foster.
"Congresswoman Biggert has taken more than $1.3 million from the financial services industry and has consistently put their interests ahead of the middle class. If our common sense reforms had been in place there would never have been a financial crisis. In light of the $2 billion losses from risky bets revealed last week, the only responsible action is to ensure these reforms remain intact and are properly enforced."