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Reactions to Senate Passage of Wall Street Reform
WASHINGTON, May 20 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement after the Senate tonight voted 59 to 39 for a major Wall Street reform bill:
“As a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior of Wall Street, this country was plunged into a horrendous recession. While this bill does not go as far as I would like, it is a strong beginning in the effort to reregulate huge financial institutions and to bring transparency to their often nefarious activities.
“I am especially proud that in this bill there is a major provision I authored which, for the first time, will lift the veil of secrecy at the Federal Reserve and give the American people an understanding of where trillions of their tax dollars went in the Wall Street bailout.
“I am disappointed that we could not garner the necessary votes to lower interest rates on credit cards or to begin the process of breaking up the largest financial institutions in this country which are the cause of so many of our problems. I intend to continue that effort until we succeed.”
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We won! The bill passed in the Senate with our demands for real derivatives reform–far stronger than in the house! Amazing work with all the calls and emails.
Thank you to our ANWF volunteer organizers — Stephanie, Lindsay, Dan, Val, Deb, and Ruth! Thank you to BanksterUSA.org for their leadership on this, AFR’s fierce support and help, Democrats.com, David Dayen/FireDogLake, McJoan on Daily Kos.
People doubted that some structural reform was possible, but instead we can write to say thank you! Thank you to everyone who wrote in and called and fought for the American public.
Thank you for helping to begin the great American tradition of strong structural reform.
But, we should remember that this bill will not stem the next financial crisis — big banks have all the authority in the world to continue to streamline profits for unworthy and dangerous gain. The problem of too-big-to-fail is still with us. This is one small step towards structural reform in this country, but the bill in general is about 10 steps back. It is certainly still time to break up the banks!
Historians will probably conclude that the package of reforms was surprisingly modest given the depth and severity of the 2008-09 financial crisis. A harsher historical judgment might find that the political and economic power wielded by the financial industry in the late 20th and early 21st centuries was so extensive that it could weather a near total collapse of the system without having to yield its power or privilege.