Big to Fail, Too Big to Jail?

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

People Are Hurting, People Are Angry………How do we “whip up the level of outrage” to get action? It Is Time to get Congress to fall in line.

Someday people are not going to take it anymore, but when? How to deal with the robber barons, the horse thieves, those who caused the melt down, or those who enabled it, whether on Wall St or in Congress?

How to restore trust in our system, to institute reform, to pass new regulations, institute new laws?

Since September 2008, trillions out to save Wall St. in addition to the Bail-out, and what new laws have been passed?

We are all on to the Wall Streeters, but it seems Congress is missing in action.

People protesting as they are losing jobs, health care, farms, losing homes, savings, businesses, more homeless on our streets, and yet Wall St. floods Congress with money, fighting bank reform.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/…

The Pecora Commission from the 1930s, was in the headlines daily for months……. “Pecora  whipped up popular outrage. believed he could get people angry enough, if he could get the clamor for reform strong enough – once that anger was in place, once that clamor for reform was in place – Congress essentially fell in line.”  Those hearings lead to Securities and Exchange Commission – and within a year Congress passed The Glass-Steagall Act, which among other things, separated commercial and investment banking. http://www.pbs.org/…

Mr. Pecora, a former New York prosecutor, summoned the nation’s most respected bankers before the panel and shredded their reputations in public. Replete with his blistering cross-examinations of the titans of Wall Street, the hearings did indeed capture huge headlines in the early 1930s. Pecora dispatched fellow staff and investigators and “sent them coursing through Wall Street and its outposts like a pack of bloodhounds.” Their digging spawned hearings that became a spectacle dreaded by Wall Street and consumed voraciously by the public.

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes…

Harnessing the Outrage – Above all, Pecora understood the power of public outrage.

After the Crash of ’29, Ferdinand Pecora Took On the ‘Banksters’ Of His Day and Ushered In Powerful New Regulation of Wall St. The last time Washington enacted sweeping financial reform, more than 75 years ago, the catalyst was a cigar-smoking, Sicilian-born immigrant named Ferdinand Pecora. A former New York prosecutor, Pecora was the last in a series of investigators hired to examine the causes that led to the stock market crash of 1929 for the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency. In early 1933, the newly elected Democratic president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, gave the bulldog lawyer his blessing to dig deep into the excesses that had plunged the nation into the Great Depression.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/…

Now that was in the 1930s, and here and now we are:

While President Obama signed into law May 20, 2009, the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, creating the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission,  – to examine the causes, domestic and global, of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States, to hold hearings; issue subpoenas for witness testimony or documents; and refer to the Attorney General or the appropriate state Attorney General any person who may have violated U.S. law in relation to the financial crisis. FCIC.gov.  While President Roosevelt gave the Pecora Commission his blessing, as noted above, President Obama has, however, issued a signing statement reserving the right to invoke executive privilege in cases where materials or testimony from the executive branch are requested under subpoena. How the times do change…….

The FCIC, headed by Phil Angelides, while created last May in 2009, has only thus far held  2 days of public hearings in January 2010. Last week they announced they will hold their next 2-day hearings  on February 26-27, 2010. (to be viewed online at FCIC.gov.)

Created almost a year ago, if you missed those 2 days of hearings in January, you might not even know that there is a commission given all this power to subpoena, to gain access to all documents, to send investigators out through Wall Street, like a “pack of bloodhounds.”

Reform Starts with the President and Congress

Congress has protected Wall Street and passed on the costs to hard-working taxpayers. “Too-big-to-fail” financial institutions are too big to exist, and it is past time to break them up. They currently enjoy around $13 trillion of taxpayer-funded support, including tens of billions of FDIC debt guarantees for each of the too-big-to-fail banks and more than $2 trillion in nearly zero-cost funding from the Fed.

President Obama has not yet condemned Wall Street’s massive fraud, and Congress’s bailout methods rewarded Wall Street’s malicious mischief. The House just passed a bigger bailout bill that will give too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks access to $4 trillion dollars the next time they crash the economy.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

Tell the FCIC to follow the money!

How did campaign contributions from Wall Street interests impact Congressional decision-making on financial regulation? Wall Street and the banking interests gave hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions over the past decade to Congress to deregulate the financial and housing markets. Your commission must explore how this campaign cash influenced Congress to adopt lax regulatory structures that led to the financial crisis.

http://www.commoncause.org/…

also posted at dailykos

1 comment

    • allenjo on February 16, 2010 at 11:39 pm
      Author

    There is no question that FDR was a President bent on engaging in serious reform. He is, and may always remain, the one President who effected the greatest change while in office. In fact we live in a nation – indeed a world – that was profoundly influenced by the reforming spirit of the New Deal.

    But FDR did not accomplish all of this by himself. Congress too – on both sides of the aisle – played an important part in initiating, drafting, and refining the legislation that gave us the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Housing Association, Social Security, unemployment insurance, the Wagner Act, the minimum wage, the GI Bill, and the many other provisions that laid the foundation for the unprecedented prosperity and economic security that followed the twin crises of the Great Depression and the Second World War.

    In most if not all of these cases, powerful vested interests did everything in their power stop these measures from moving forward. But heeding the words from FDR’s first inaugural that “this nation is calling for action and action now

    http://www.newdeal20.org/

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