I've found an interesting and novel way to end Wall Street bailouts, and prove once and for all that no bank is "too big to fail." And I need your help. This is a bit complex, but I think you'll find that this is a unique opportunity for you and me to make a difference.
Here's the story:
Recently, federal bank regulators proposed a new rule that would place strong new restrictions on the eight biggest banks in the country. Right now, these banks and their risky ventures are in essence subsidized by the taxpayers, because their own lenders believe that the taxpayers will bail out these banks if they go broke. Wall Street bankers rake in big bonuses by playing a game of chance -- heads, they win; tails, we lose.
The new rule says that these banks need to maintain a larger buffer to cover their speculative bets, to make sure that they don't gamble with our money. JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of New York Mellon and State Street would have to put up $89 billion to guard against unforeseen losses. This would make the banks much safer. And after the 2008 wipeout, which destroyed 20 percent of America's net worth in 18 months, that's a good thing.
Before this rule can go into effect, there's a comment period during which bank regulators have to invite feedback from the public. Often, this period is dominated by big bank lobbyists, who whine incessantly against whatever they don't like. And in this case, Wall Street already has mobilized its Republican hirelings in Congress to go on the attack against this rule, because they don't think that the public is paying attention.
But some of us are paying attention. Congressman John Conyers and I have written a letter asking the government to enforce this new rule. Not only do we want it enforced, but we want to make it even stronger!
That's where you come in.
We need you to join us.
We'd like you to co-sign our letter. Tell the government that big banks on Wall Street shouldn't gamble with your money.
Your support matters -- it demonstrates that the public is weighing in, and it gives the government regulators the spine to stand up to big banks. Without us, the regulators will think that the banks are the only ones paying attention. If thousands of us show that we care, we will embolden the regulators to crack down on Wall Street's taxpayer-funded, high-finance casinos.
So sign our letter. You can even add your own comment.
I will submit this letter, along with your signatures and comments, to the bank regulators. We've been in touch with them, and they've asked to hear what we have to say.
Let's tell them. Together. Go here to do it.
And thanks for your help.
Follow Rep. Alan Grayson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/alangrayson