Just two years after the Wall Street banks were bailed out and just three months after we passed a tough new law to rein them in, the Wall Street bankers want weak regulations so they can keep making risky bets with your money.
Because of the upcoming election, the banks apparently thought nobody would notice that they redeployed their horde of lobbyists to try to weaken the new rules as they’re being written.
They were wrong. We noticed. And we need your help to fight back.
Regulators with the Financial Stability Oversight Counsil are accepting public comments on the new law’s important “Volcker rule.” The rule is named for Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve and a vocal White House official who called on Congress to stop banks from making risky bets for their own profit while relying on taxpayer bailouts if the bets go bad.
Here’s how you can help:
2. Next, cut and paste the SAMPLE COMMENT at the end of this post into the comment box. Fill out all the required information (First Name, Last Name, and Organization Name).
3. In the required field that asks for your “Organization Name” write “PUBLIC CITIZEN MEMBER.”
4. Click “Submit.”
The banks have already submitted their regulatory comments. Now it’s our turn!
The Volcker rule will prevent banks from trying to make a quick buck by betting – and possibly losing – trillions of dollars and leaving you with the tab. It’s your money that the regulators should be protecting, not the big banks’ risky practices.
Copy and paste the SAMPLE COMMENT below. Feel free to edit it and add your perspective on the economic crisis:
RE: Docket ID: FSOC-2010-0002 – Public Input for the Study Regarding the Implementation of the Prohibition on Proprietary Trading and Certain Relationships With Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds.
Dear Members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council:
I am writing as a concerned citizen affected by the financial meltdown and bailouts caused by Wall Street banks’ high-risk trading. I am submitting this comment pursuant to the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s (FSOC) request for comment on Sections 619-621 of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Banks should be in the business of lending to America’s small businesses and families, not using our money to run a private casino where the House always wins. We never again want to be left on the hook for bad bets by Wall Street.
I urge regulators to implement a strong Volcker Rule:
1) Don’t let the exceptions swallow the rule. If banks are profiting from swings in prices, that’s prohibited proprietary trading, plain and simple.
2) The rule cannot allow hedge fund bailouts. Bear Stearns ended up spending $3 billion bailing out a hedge fund in which it had invested just $35 million.
3) Regulators must ban any activity that allows banks to bet against their customers, or for that matter creates any material conflict of interest between banks and their customers. Regulators should investigate the full range of ways that Wall Street insiders are profiting at the expense of the rest of us, collect all the trading data needed to monitor the system and protect taxpayers, and then use their new powers to crack down on abuses.
Thank you for your consideration of my views.