Take Action: Find and Stop the Sleaziest in Financial Reform: Call-in Week in 18 Hours
We're going to make sure there are no backroom deals that effectively gut the best reforms currently in the bill -- we've launched "Call-in Days for the Big 3 No Bailouts Reforms" (over at anwf.org) to put every decision maker in the spotlight for gutting or keeping the Big 3. We have 14 days until June 24 to influence the financial reform bill to be something worth passing. So, on Tuesday (6/15), Wednesday (6/16), and Thursday (6/17), please help us get enough people so it's like we're walking right into the backroom with them and slapping their hands if they do something bad. We'll update our list on the slimiest and worst on financial reform. See the list below.
Sign up for a day that works for you -- you just need a 5 minute chunk of time free -- and we'll make your call effortless. If you've already signed up, thank you. You've come to the right place. Add what you find out on your calls in the comments here, as soon as we hear back from you, we'll update who is acting the sleaziest (you can also report back at #finreg #save716 on twitter).
We need to call as much as each of us can to stop government support and incentives for banks to become bigger and riskier - this is structural reform.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE LAST LEG OF FINANCIAL REFORM?
The financial reform bill is going into the final stage in the legislative process this week and bought-out members of Congress are trying to stealthily remove all the provisions in it that the big banks oppose. The financial reform bill would be a pure product of lobbying and big banking if it were not for the just a handful of "No Bailout Reforms" that are still in the bill as we speak. Can you join us in making sure that conferees don't gut the strongest provisions in the financial reform bill behind closed doors?
A full whip list for derivatives reform is here. We need your help finding out where people stand.
No-Bailout Reform #1, is Section 716, "PROHIBITION AGAINST FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BAILOUTS OF SWAPS ENTITIES". Currently, the Senate financial reform bill still has language in it that will stop the biggest, most dangerous banks from getting federal bailouts for their riskiest gambling. The provision that provides for this would require banks to spin off the derivatives activities into separate entities without access to discount Fed money and FDIC guarantees. It is structural reform. This is the main provision that our conference committee members are being asked to gut by the lobbyists. 716 literally says this in its own bill text. Without this language financial companies that turned themselves into banks for the purpose of receiving bailouts under the TARP will get to stay bailout recipients in perpetuity. Without this language, the 2008 crisis will lead to a permanent situation where the government continually subsidizes derivatives trades, which were at the heart of what caused the crisis. Here's more from Bankster.
No-Bailout Reform #2, STRONG CAPITAL REQUIREMENTS FOR BIG AND SMALL BANKS: When banks make their bets, they're supposed to put some money down. Over the years, the largest banks received exemptions to how much, and therefore their bets got riskier. This time around, Senators Collins and Representative Speier have introduced complementary amendments in the Senate and House to make sure that the money these banks put down for their bets is real capital and is enough to keep the big banks from taking risks they can't pay for and need to be bailed out by taxpayers. For strong capital requirements, the best of the House and Senate version need to stay. Here's more from Rortybomb.
No-Bailout Reform #3, A NEW CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCY: A signature reform of the Obama Administration and TARP watchdog Elizabeth Warren, an independent consumer watchdog agency can stop financial corporations from abusing consumers. "Subprime mortgages. Abusive and arbitrary rate hikes on your credit card. Payday loans. If you're wondering who lets banks get away with this crap, there are more people at it than you think. There are no less than four federal regulators responsible for overseeing consumer protection in finance, and all of them are terrible," writes Zach Carter. The Senate bill would house the CFPA in the Fed and allow the Fed to veto their rules proposal. That's unacceptable. We need an independent CFPA, via the House bill, with full rule-making authority. More from HuffPo.
UPDATE: We are advocates of breaking up the big banks. We fought for the Brown-Kaufman amendment to cap the size of banks before they get too big to fail, but it didn't pass with the Senate bill. Therefore, we agree with Dr. Simon Johnson that Rep. Kanjorski's amendment to allow regulators to break up the banks is an important part of the finreg bill and are happy to push for it.
Supporters of these measures are Nobel Laureate Economist Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, Renowned Economists Robert Reich, Jane D'Arista, Dean Baker, Simon Johnson, Jennifer Taub, David Moss, Michael Greenberger, financial writers and advocates, Rortybomb/Mike Konczal, Ilan Moscovitz of the Motley Fool, Zach Carter of CAF/Alternet, Public Citizen, CAF, David Dayen/FireDogLake, BanksterUSA, McJoan of Daily Kos. Join them!
AND NOW, WHO IS WATERING DOWN THE BILL?
We have a full list of where the conferees stand here, but we'd also love to hear from you in the comments after you have called. We can’t wait to hear from you so we can update our list of sleaziest deals — tell us what you hear in the comments of this post. Thanks for making it happen!