4 Secretive Ways Wall Street Extorts You
Continued from previous page
The solutions are simple.
Break up the big banks: Even the president of the Dallas Fed is calling for the dismemberment of too-big-to-fail banks. This goes far beyond the so-called Volker rule or the return of Glass-Steagall, which separates consumer banking (our insured deposits) from investment banking (their casinos). These giant financial entities have to be broken up into bite-size chunks so that no one firm can blackmail the economy into a bailout. Capitalism has a lot of problems. But if you take away the fear of bankruptcy, you exacerbate its worst tendencies. Give the big banks the power to rip us off and they will, no matter what their eloquent CEOs say to Congress about their ability to manage risk.
Pass a financial transaction tax (Robin Hood tax): Big banks and their hedge fund cousins are using high-speed trading to extract a hidden tax. Let's make that tax overt and have it go to the commonwealth instead of into Wall Street's pockets. It will reduce, if not eliminate, the high-speed predator trading and help provide the funding we need to build a more just and equitable society. (The New York Times reports on 1/22/13 that several European countries will soon implement such a tax.)
Defeat each and every politician who takes money from Wall Street: I know, I know. If we did that, Congress would nearly be empty. But we need to break the incestuous links between Washington and Wall Street. The Democrats, in particular, must be forced to realize that they can't be the party of both the predators and the prey. We need to remind them that when they say the word "debt" it all starts on Wall Street. There would be no talk of a so-called debt crisis were it not for the Wall Street crash born and bred within too-big-to-fail banks.
A true political fighter for Main Street should be furious that these banks and their hedge fund cousins took record profits when they pumped up the housing bubble, then profited again by helping it burst, and then profited yet again while gorging on bailouts. Meanwhile, 9 million jobs were destroyed. Instead of setting their sights on Social Security and Medicare, politicians should go after the biggest entitlement in history -- too-big-to-fail banks.