Another day, another embarrassment for the republic at the hands of Wall Street and their toadies in government. While the Justice Department is winning judgements against Bank of America and negotiating – albeit oddly – with JPMorgan for a record settlement, the House of Representatives has taken it upon itself to further empower and enrich Wall Street at the expense of public safety.
Two bills, one of which was literally written by Citigroup, are set to be voted on this week. Despite the general hatred at banksters for causing a debilitating financial crisis by fraud and greed, Wall Street still has a lot of friends in Washington.
The House is scheduled to vote on two bills this week that would undercut new financial regulations and hand Wall Street a victory. The legislation has garnered broad bipartisan support in the House, even after lawmakers learned that Citigroup lobbyists helped write one of the bills, which would exempt a wide array of derivatives trading from new regulation.
The bills are part of a broader campaign in the House, among Republicans and business-friendly Democrats, to roll back elements of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, the most comprehensive regulatory overhaul since the Depression. Of 10 recent bills that alter Dodd-Frank or other financial regulation, six have passed the House this year. This week, if the House approves Citigroup’s legislation and another bill that would delay heightened standards for firms that offer investment advice to retirees, the tally would rise to eight.
Why not exempt derivatives trading from regulations? What could go wrong?
Citigroup lobbyists wrote 70 out of the 85 lines of The Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act (HR 992), which would gut a crucial part of the Dodd-Frank law meant to protect taxpayers from future bailouts – and now they’re urging both parties to sign their bill as one of their first post-shutdown actions. HR 992 would let Big Banks hold almost all their risky derivatives inside of the part of the bank with FDIC insurance – which makes business cheaper for the banks, but keeps us on the hook for bailing them out if things go south.
What is also deeply disturbing is that it would seem that the House members who plan to vote for these bills have no fear whatsoever of being so obviously in Wall Street’s pocket. The bill is exposed as being written by Wall Street lobbyists and no one cares? Then again, perhaps Wall Street writing the bills is so commonplace in DC that such a revelation is in no way surprising or worth further consideration by members of Congress.
But is America really stupid and corrupt enough to run the deregulate Wall Street experiment again?