A funny thing, wonderful in its own small way, happened last week. The Senate voted 99-0 in favor of an amendment to end subsidies to too-big-to-fail financial institutions. This vote is a harbinger of things to come -- if the public keeps ratcheting up pressure.
As Elizabeth Warren showed the world, the government officials trusted with the job of arresting bankers and bringing them to trial haven't done it and won't do it. So if you ask yourself, "What Would Jesus Do?", the answer is clear.
Unless Americans step up the way Cypriots did and demand real regulation, as well as send the message that they don't trust Wall Street by moving their money to community banks and credit unions, they can bank on being bilked. Again.
They called him a hero. The most esteemed banker of his time. The captain who could steer the ship while others foundered. Now the truth is out, and Wall Street's golden boy, Jamie Dimon, has fallen to earth with a thud. Why did it take so long?
With President Reagan's election, the majority of the American people embraced an economic and political philosophy enshrining the private sector as the driver of US life and values. The results are in. Look around.
Executives show utter contempt for regulators and for telling the truth. How dare those lowly public servants interfere with the banks primary mission, which is making as much money as possible, anyway possible, and damn the law!
The megabanks should welcome the opportunity to explain to their investors why they benefit from their megabank size and structure. And the SEC should permit investors an opportunity to let their voices be heard.
Wall Street money and influence suffuses both our politics and our media, so the answer to that question remains to be seen. But the ideas presented by Fisher and Rosenblum should reshape our national conversation over the financial and moral failure of our current banking system.
Think our problems can be solved with a regulatory nip here and a fiscal tuck there? Believe that our fiscal and monetary challenges can be overcome if we just get "the rich" to pay their "fair share?"
There is the possibility that the Justice Department really believes that prosecuting the criminal activities of Bank of America or JP Morgan could sink the economy. If this is true then it make the case for breaking up the big banks even more of a slam dunk.
Politicians and regulators serve criminal banks for the very same reason that Willie Sutton robbed them: That's where the money is. If these senators don't figure that out pretty soon, they're going to have to go to the people to raise money.
Paul Ryan introduced his version of the Republican budget this week, and it seems Ryan has agreed that two or three of President Obama's biggest budget victories actually do significantly cut the deficit, and are therefore worth including in the Republican plans for the future.