At stake in the financial reform debate is an issue that has received far less attention than the CFPA, but is at least as important: Whether Congress will restore the authority of states to oversee national banks.
Gary Rivlan notes in his book, Broke USA, "the working poor have become big business." You wouldn't think that poor people would be a growth market, but businesses make big money off people who live paycheck to paycheck.
Much of what Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner did in 2008 was presumably necessary. But the public has no way of knowing. The public doesn't even know who else the Fed has bailed out, or what entities it will bail out in the future.
$9 million in stock options as a 2009 bonus for Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is now considered a big concession from Wall Street. Before we all start applauding, let's take another look at what's really happening on Wall Street.
Despite the high intrigue of Washington politics and the grass roots displeasure across the nation, it remained business as usual for the big four banks as far as Main Street's deposits were concerned.
Ordinarily, I don't care how much members of the brass make. Success is a beautiful thing, right? But with this round of Wall St. bonuses, the companies would not be standing without taxpayer-funded rescues.
Big banks have constricted lending, making small banks the key to restoring the flow of credit. But their capacity to do so during a recession hinges on whether the Senate reauthorizes a key loan-guarantee program.
The heads of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America came to testify and said... just about nothing. Yes, they made mistakes. But gee, they had learned a great deal and they certainly didn't cause the crash.