There's an old country saying that the water won't clear up until you get the hogs out of the creek.
Like a dirty creek, this financial crisis might seem like a force of nature, but it's a man-made problem. The trouble we're in now is the result of years of willfully blind regulators and reckless business practices by some of the largest financial firms in the country.
The TARP program, which I opposed, pushed enormous amounts of taxpayers' money at the very firms that helped steer our economy into the ditch, and for now, our financial system has begun to stabilize. But too many of those firms are reverting right back to the same behavior that led to the collapse.
We're not going to clear up the problems on Wall Street until we hold those who led us here accountable and put new regulations in place to make sure it never happens again. And that's going to be hard to do.
The Obama administration inherited this problem, but they are proposing the new rules now.
You can contact President Obama now and help me push for real change.
As I see it, there are four main areas we need to address in order to restore confidence in our financial system.
First, there needs to be a full investigation of what happened and prosecution of those who broke the law.
Second, we need to enact new regulations to stop the kind of wild speculation that brought our economy down.
Third, we need to make sure regulators have the powers and resources they'll need to provide effective oversight.
And fourth, we need to get rid of the "too big to fail" philosophy at the Federal Reserve. If the biggest financial institutions are considered "too big to fail" then they are too big. Let's end this no-fault capitalism.
Customize a message to President Obama asking him to help push for these four important principles.
North Dakota banks had it right -- they didn't take crazy risks and they didn't see huge losses.
We need Wall Street to follow that model -- and given the greed that we have seen at the biggest financial firms, we need new rules.
Legislation to overhaul America's financial system will be coming up in Congress this fall, and we can't let this moment pass without making some lasting changes.
Weigh in with President Obama telling him you stand on the side of real change. I will be pushing for that change in Congress and your support will help.
It was just one year ago that the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy exposed the financial house of cards.
We can't settle for jump-starting our economy -- we need to fundamentally rewire our financial industry oversight practices.