A protest sign that reads, "Bring Back Glass-Steagall Now!"Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), the Wall Street crony who leads the House committee in charge of banking policy, has launched a campaign to derail the Volcker Rule, one of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law’s most significant protections designed to keep Wall Street’s recklessness from damaging the broader economy.

Bachus has said that he believes “Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks,” and his new campaign shows it.

Echoing the Volcker Rule’s critics on Wall Street, Bachus has called the rule “burdensome,” and is soliciting comments for an “alternative” that is easier on the Big Banks.

In a nutshell, the Volcker Rule’s goal is to stop federally backed banks from making risky, speculative bets — a practice called “proprietary trading.”

We’ve got the email address he’s using to solicit these suggestions, and we have one suggestion for an alternative to the Volcker Rule: Reinstate Glass-Steagall.

A reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act – which was repealed in 1999 – would go a step further by forbidding institutions from engaging in both activities. Big Banks that are doing both would be required to break up into separate companies, so there’s zero chance of taxpayer-backed deposits being placed at risk by the kinds of reckless, speculative activity that brought down the economy in 2008.

The email address Bachus’ office is using to receive these comments is volckeralternative@mail.house.gov. The deadline for comments is September 7.

Let’s send comments urging Bachus to abandon is goal of weakening the Volcker Rule. Urge him to support reinstating Glass-Steagall – the strongest possible way to accomplish what the Volcker Rule aims to do, which is to ensure a bank’s taxpayer-backed activities and its risky, reckless speculation are as separate as possible.

And while you’re at it, make sure to explain in your comment to Bachus what “burdensome” means.

An economy ravaged wrecked by Wall Street greed is burdensome.

The massive numbers of home foreclosures, lost jobs and retirement savings losses are burdensome.

If you or anyone you know was hurt by the economic recession, make sure Bachus knows so he learns the true meaning of what’s “burdensome.”

A rule to protect taxpayers from once again footing the bill for the devastation caused by Wall Street’s greed?

That’s not burdensome.

That’s common sense.

Send your comment to volckeralternative@mail.house.gov.

After you send the email, let us know by leaving a comment below.

Flickr photo via Chris Boese

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Comments

  • Patricia Caraballo

    I left a message saying that bankers shouldn’t be allowed to use investors funds for speculating.

  • Frank Tepper

    The banks have it both ways, they can raise money by being a “broker” and set high interest rates on lenders. I beleive they should be broken apart, like it was when I was a banker.

  • Bradford Castalia

    Email sent to volckeralternative@mail.house.gov:

    The U.S. economy – the U.S. society – needs a better alternative to the Volker Rule of the Dodd-Frank legislation that has been an ineffective response to the causes of the Great Recession. At the very least, the restoration of the basic structural protections provided by the Glass-Stegall Act is needed to restore desperately needed economic stability and confidence. Of course, as a representatives of the interests of the general public I would expect Congress to do more than just the minimum necessary, but to help turn the economy away from its current focus on financial speculation and back towards a focus on production of real wealth that meets the needs of as many people as possible.

    Thank you,

  • Jeanene

    Right ON! Sometimes the way forward is to go back to something that worked. I am sharing this in a big way. Thanks for all YOU do.

  • Randal Mutter

    Stop the dick hick and run someone against him who can beat him (maybe forrest gump)with support from those that are normal, politically and genetically un-mutated.

  • Sandra Peterson

    I have just sent an email to the volckeralternative address offereing the Glass-Stegall Act as an alternative. I am appalled with Bachus’ audacity to label the Volcker Rule burdensome for the banks. I and millions of others are still suffering from these “poor” banks’ unbelievable speculative behaviors that brought our economy to the brink of financial collapse. I am outraged that our tax dollars bailed them out, perfectly legally, while the execs walked away with huge windfalls. Thank you for providing this opportunity to comment.

  • Jennifer Stanley

    I wrote: Reinstate Glass-Steagall. Corporations are chartered by the People (aka the Government) to serve society, NOT the other way around. Taxpayers must never again foot the bill for risky speculation that serves only the ultra rich. Stop burdening We the People.

    Jennifer Stanley
    Oakland, CA

  • Here’s what I sent:

    “Reinstate Glass-Steagall so there’s zero chance of taxpayer-backed deposits being placed at risk by the kinds of reckless, speculative activity that brought down the economy in 2008.

    “Burdensome” means a ravaged economy, wrecked by Wall Street. Greed is burdensome. Massive numbers of foreclosures, lost jobs and retirement savings losses are burdensome.

    A rule to protect taxpayers from once again footing the bill for the devastation caused by our government, Republican and Democratic parties, and Wall Street greed working in concert? That’s not burdensome. That’s common sense.”

  • Deanna

    I told them it was the only sensible thing to do!!!

  • Gernot Huber

  • brian watson

    here’s the email i sent:
    most people accept the idea that some regulation is necessary to protect everyone from the excesses of a few. speed limits are one example. while most people are perfectly capable of exercising common sense, there will always be a few with poor judgment who endanger the many. when you add a massive profit motive to a group of people who are already highly ambitious and driven toward personal gain, you get what you have on wall street– a handful of people with tremendous power and influence over the lives of many, who are also unable to resist the opportunity for huge profits by gambling with other people’s money. they have seen through their executive compensation and the lack of prosecution for rule-breakers that they won’t be punished legally or financially when their bets go off the rails. and while the rest of the economy suffers and middle class wealth has steadily and significantly declined over the past decade since the repeal of glass-steagall, the banks have received massive bailouts and consequently rebounded. and now that things are back to normal for them, bankers are complaining that ANY rules to keep the financial crisis of ’08 from happening again are “burdensome.”

    well, it’s burdensome to see the value of your home cut in half. it’s burdensome to see your income falling in relation to the cost of living year after year. it’s burdensome to lose your job because your company had to cut back in response to stock losses and economic contractions. it’s burdensome to live in a country divided by infighting over how to fix an economy that was crashed in no small part because of big bankers and investment firms who have suffered no consequences. and it is YOUR JOB as congressmen and women representing ALL THE PEOPLE of the united states to do what is in OUR BEST INTEREST and ensure that we are protected from a repeat of the housing crash caused by wall street greed.

    you want to create an alternative to the volcker rule? enact an even stronger protection. reinstate glass-steagall. and then go further to ensure that there are sane, safe limits on the ways banks and wall street can trade, and how the assets of normal people can be effected by those interactions. it is your duty as PUBLIC SERVANTS. do not forget that you are in washington for US, not to serve an industry or special interest, no matter how much money they have the ability to throw at you or how much media influence they have. do what’s right, and keep our money safe.

    sincerely,

    brian watson

  • Bill Giroux

    My letter to Representative Bachus

    “Dear Representative Bachus:

    I understand that you are soliciting comments for an alternative to the Volcker Rule for the U.S. banking industry. For decades the Glass-Steagull Act worked to ensure that the United States had a fiscally sound and stable banking industry. The U.S. banking industry successfully operated within the rules of the Glass-Steagall Act during those decades. The Glass-Steagall Act also provided protections for the citizens of the United States, people like myself with money deposited in a bank and a home mortgage from a bank.

    In 1999 the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed. Just a few short years ago we learned what happens when the banking industry operates without rules designed to protect the stability and fiscal soundness of the industry – a financial crisis. That crisis would not have occurred if the Glass-Steagall Act was still in place.

    For this reason I strongly urge you and the other members of Congress to support the re-enactment of the Glass-Steagall Act. It served for decades to provide a stable and fiscally sound banking industry for the United States and it served the citizens of the United States.

    Respectfully,”

  • Evelyn McChesney

    Bring back Glass-Steagall.

  • Lance J Konover

    Glass-Steagall kept the economy of the USA safe for 70 years. Then the forces of greed got it repealed. It did not take long for all of these great financial innovators to run the train off the tracks and into the lake. It is the last thing that the mega-banks want, and the first thing that the economy needs: to keep banks and speculators separate businesses.
    It works.

  • Charles Paul Becker

    Reinstate Glass/Steagall.
    Stop the systematic destruction of The New Deal.
    Hang traitors who commit treason against We The People.

  • Robert and Sylvia Buselmeier

    In addition to expressing support of the Volker Rule/Glss Steagall we said it was galling to think that anyone–let alone a member of Congress–could consider the just regulation of extremely wealthy taxpayer-protected banks burdensome, when most of us wage-earners are simply trying to feed our families and pay our bills!

  • Maria Duca

    I sent an email asking that the Glass-Steagell Act be reinstated

  • Odile Legeay

  • Ed Rush

    The best way to handle the superbanks of today is to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act. I consider an economy ravaged by Wall Street greed to be pretty burdensome to all of us.

  • Jagy Pattur

    Bring back Glass Seagall to protect the middle income families.

  • Chas

    The barriers to entry in regards to that level of investment are immense, the information required so arcane and sensitive that it is no wonder the big trading concerns want to keep regulators as far as humanly possible from it. What we need is a way to incentivize these concerns, and their investors, to take a lower ROI that allows for no corners to be cut and no falsehoods to go unreported. This seems a Herculean task, no doubt, but any steps we can take to shore up regulation, and those who do it, should at least de-incentivize negative behavior such as the toxic asset bollox that contributed so heavily to the crash.

  • Paul Greenberg

    I wrote the following email to Representative Bachus:
    ____________________________________________________

    Dear Representative Bachus,

    I’m writing about your efforts to derail the Volker rule. It’s a bad idea. In fact we need to reinstitute Glass-Steagall, which brought relative stability to our markets and banks for many years.

    The banks with their reckless abandon for risky profits created this recession. Let’s not let them do it again, and do it again is what they’ll do if we give them half the chance.

    Isn’t it time we stopped this insanity.

    Paul Greenberg

  • Frank Hanrahan

    How much are the banks paying you, Rep. Bachus, to serve them?
    You have it all wrong! You are to serve the people, all of us, not just the rich. Don’t try to take away our protection.

  • Christian Henry

    As a U.S. citizen I value life over profit. Allowing banks to speculate off of our deposits places the value of profits over our lives. Please do your job and protect U.S. citizens from the excesses of greed on Wall Street. Be the moral majority and support the people!

  • Mr Ralph C Talarico

    He occupies Wall St.

  • Tom Bailey

    This nitwit has no shame; no understanding of greedy, sociopathic human behavior; and, no sense of US economic history. What rock has he been hiding under all these years. He should just go directly to work for the banks instead of living on the public dole and doing the banks’ bidding.

    Let’s hope the good citizens of Alabama have the decency to get rid of the bum. Oh, wait! It’s another southern state. Perhaps I am wishing for too much.

  • Robert M. Thacker

    Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country. Congress and the banks must be held accountable and responsible for their mismanagement of our banking system.

  • Mike D

    Subj: Who do you represent?

    Representative Bachus,

    As the chair of the committee dealing with banking policy, I’d like to ask you, who do you represent? Your constituents in Alabama, or your friends in the big banks and on Wall Street? Don’t you want to prevent another crash like we had here in 2007, the effects of which are being felt to this day? As one who believes that this government, as established in the Constitution is supposed to be of the people, for the people, and by the people. I demand that you protect the Volker Rule, and work towards reinstating Glass-Steagall.

    Thank you,

    Mike D

  • Kenneth King

    Given the multi-trillion dollar fiasco produced by poorly regulated banking, it is difficult to understand the cavalier attitude of Republicans towards new regulations. Can they be completely oblivious to the incredibly damaging results our citizens have only recently experienced and are still suffering the consequences? Can they be so obsessed with greed that they cannot see the effects of their misguided thinking? Congressman Bachus, have you ever lost your house because of a failure of government? Have you ever lost your job through no fault of our own? You think regulations on banks are burdensome? You obviously don’t know what burdensome is, but there are a lot of people who can tell you.

    I knew when they repealed the Glass-Steagall Act that it was a big mistake, but I could never have guessed just how big it would be. Washington and the regulators are there to serve our citizens, not the banking business. If you don’t understand this, you deserve to lose your job.

    BRING BACK GLASS-STEAGALL!!!

  • ps3

    this is what i sent
    Reinstatie Glass-Steagall

  • Ken Rose

    Sent an email on 8/23 telling him to reinstate the Glass Steagail Act.

  • Connie Lee

  • Sean Barnett

    I send a suggestion to reinstate Glass-Steagall to the Volcker alternatives e-mail list.

  • Diantha

    Yes, I wrote and I copied from your comments. I DO vote in Alabama! Thanks for your work.

  • Dan Thomson

    It might not be the best written letter in the world, but here’s what I had to say (and did):
    If you think it is your job to “serve the banks” you are out of your mind. We can see and hear you. We the People are keeping track. You are in office to serve the People of our Republic; instead you are promoting an Oligarchy. Reinstate Glass-Steagall. The Market is NOT the higher power, nor is it infallible; to believe otherwise takes either a complete disregard for what has happened to the economy as a result of reckless banks, or shows who you think you were put in office to serve. Do your job. Put protecting the People first, or you and your ilk will lose YOUR jobs. That seems to be all that motivates you.

    -Dan Thomson
     Hard-working citizen

  • Nancy Brenner

    I emailed Bachus using many of the above talking points.

  • i also suggested a speculators tax as a way of filling budget gaps that would be harmless to speculators.

  • Jan Cone

    I sent an email to Bachus

  • K Sage

    pass these 2 ‘mantras’ on if agree:

    “I will gladly call upon the working class to stop receiving millions in “gov handouts”….as soon as the Mega-RICH stops receiving their BILLIONS in gov handouts.”

    “By far, the biggest WELFARE state on earth….is that of the CORPORATE WELFARE state of the USA.”

  • David Hoefer

    Return to Glass Seagall

  • It is really sad that you and your cronies do not have the brains and honesty of Franklin D. Roosevelt. If you did you would realize that Glass-Steagall was the law that kept our large banks solvent for almost 60 years. Banks should not be casinos.

  • David Ball

    The Glass-Steagall act must be reinstated: the separation of “ordinary” banking from financial speculation was essential then, and is even more necessary now.

  • Tamara Teague

    Here’s a copy of my e-mail.

    Senator Bachus,

    I understand that you have called the Volker Rule burdensome. I think so many Americans being laid off without much hope of being employed is burdensome. I think all the Americans whose homes have been foreclosed upon is burdensome. You have asked for alternatives to the Volker Rule. The alternative I would support is bring back the Glass-Steagall Act which was repealed in 1999. I’ll accept nothing less. Your duty is to protect all Americans from reckless Wall Street speculation and not to protect your Wall Street cronies’ bad behavior.

    Thank you,
    Tamara Teague
    U.S. Citizen

  • Robert Moreland

    It is an act of corruption to be voted in by actual people and citizens with actual birth certificates to evade their representation in deference to the representation of corporations or other institutions. The job of any and all persons ELECTED to Congress is to represent the PEOPLE (the actual People, with blood,sinew,flesh … heart and soul).
    “Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.” this singular statement is an admission of treason and has upended the entire purpose of governance … and has turned public service into corporate service … the robber barons have effectively turned all individual citizens into serfs and slaves on a Plantation no longer the United States of America, but Incorporated Plantations of America. Bring back in full the Glass-Steagal ACT is the only possible route to redemption.

  • Andrea

    Said since no one is prosecuting those who crashed the economy, we must reinstate Glass-Stegall.

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