During the 2015-16 election cycle, Wall Street banks and financial interests spent more than $2 billion to influence decision-making in Washington, according to a report released today by Americans for Financial Reform. That total, derived from an exclusive data set, works out to more than $2.7 million a day.
When it comes to the economy, unfortunately the President hasn’t drained the swamp. Instead, he is filling the government with Wall Street insiders who are now attacking rules put in place to keep big Wall Street banks and predatory lenders from ripping off consumers and prevent another disastrous financial crisis.
The chairman’s opening move in this year’s budget debate might delight Wall Street, but it would make life harder and more dangerous for the rest of us. His plans would make it easier for big banks and predatory lenders to rip off their customers, and easier for Wall Street billionaires to crash the economy — again.
We can, and will, fight at every step against Wall Street burning it all down — again. And we’ll fight for a financial system that serves an economy that works for the rest of us.
“The AFR Advocacy Fund has released its final voting record for the 114th Congress. ‘Where They Stand on Financial Reform’ tracks more than 70 bills, amendments, and resolutions that, during the years 2015 and 2016, gave House members and Senators a chance to protect investors, consumers, borrowers and the stability, transparency, and accountability of the financial system, or, on the other hand, to make it easier for banks and lenders to inflate their profits at the economy’s and the country’s expense.”
“‘Steven Mnuchin, Donald Trump’s reported pick for Treasury Secretary, made himself enormously wealthy by cashing in on the country’s financial collapse,’ the liberal activist Take on Wall Street campaign said in a statement on Tuesday. ‘He purchased a bailed-out bank for pennies on the dollar and then aggressively foreclosed on tens of thousands of families.'”
“[The] question is whether Dodd-Frank will be replaced or just torn down. If Republicans create a regulatory vacuum or simply allow the banks to write their own rules, [AFR’s Marcus Stanley] said, they will have gone too far. ‘It’s obvious that Dodd-Frank is going to come under severe attack both in Congress and the regulatory agencies,’ Stanley said… [T]he first question is going to be, What do you plan to do to actually address these Wall Street abuses? If the answer is, We’re not going to do anything … then that is something we are going to fight really hard on.”
“‘Trump ran an anti-establishment campaign focused on the economy,’ said Alexis Goldstein, a senior policy analyst for progressive nonprofit Americans for Financial Reform. ‘There was a huge focus on fighting for people who were left out. It’s already a betrayal of his supporters to staff up his transition team with hedge fund managers.'”
“As Americans clearly understand, the rules of the game for Wall Street have a profound impact on our economic security, and too many people have suffered from policies that enrich a tiny few at the expense of millions. Republican, Democratic and Independent voters have said as much again and again, in polls and elections. In this election, supporters of both candidates were looking for more accountability for Wall Street. The country will be watching to see whether the new President and his Congressional allies make choices – about who to appoint and what policies to embrace – that can deliver that kind of change in the public interest.”
“While Trump bashed Wall Street throughout the campaign, the financial services industry is trying to figure out whether his victory, coupled with a GOP-led Congress, could open a path forward to easing regulations… Marcus Stanley, policy director at Americans for Financial Reform, said he expected to play defense on some issues but hoped that the populist pitch made by Trump during the election ‘wasn’t just rhetoric that gets forgotten when you come to DC.'”