"...after four years of studies, hearings, and round tables, the Securities and Exchange Commission late last month abandoned efforts to impose new regulations on money market funds intended to prevent another panic like the one that occurred in 2008 and eliminate the need for a taxpayer bailout of the multi-trillion-dollar funds."
It seems three of the five SEC Commissioners, two Republicans and one Democrat, indicated they would NOT support any new reform proposals. Make that BANKERS, 1; all the rest of us, 0. Game, set, match.
Here we are in the heat of another election year, our economy is still in the toilet, and the Democrats and the Republicans are both pointing fingers at each other saying, "It's all THEIR fault. If you elect us WE'LL FIX THIS!"
Truth of the matter is, it's BOTH their faults, and until someone stands up to the bankers, NOTHING is going to get fixed! Oh sure, they'll let us squabble over things like abortion and gay marriage and whether there should be prayer in public places, but when it comes to anything with a dollar sign attached, they (the bankers / financiers) call the shots. And the outcome is pre-ordained: They will win, and the rest of us will....well, they don't give a flip.
From 1999 (essentially the end of any meaningful banking regulations) until 2008, the bankers had things going exactly as they wanted, and they made BILLIONS along the way. Then when their unrestrained speculation imploded in 2008, they (mostly) kept their winnings, hit the reset button (raided the taxpayer's piggy bank) and started over again. (It's nice to
know own the right people, huh?)
So which political party is most likely to get us out of this vicious financial cycle of boom (for them) and bust (for us)? Let's review:
Mitt Romney is firmly in the banker's camp (he's actually one of them!) and his veep is their head cheerleader. Now don't get to feeling too smug, Democrats, because Obama had his chance to stand up to them in March (?), 2009 and wimped out. And the people he listens to most closely, such as Sec Treasury Geithner, are so far up the banker's asses all you can see are their shoelaces.
So who then? There are a few brave, knowledgeable people out there such as former Fed Chmn. Paul Volcker and former Citibank CEO Sandy Weill who say publicly that our mega-banks all need to be reigned in and broken up into not-too-big-to-fail pieces. Problem is they're older, retired, and not in policy-making positions. They're non-factors. (The premise is if the bankers know they won't be bailed out again....that they're not "too big to fail".... and know they're being watched over by regulators with teeth, they'll act more responsibly.)
We're gonna have to start from scratch. I'll volunteer to stand out front, but I'll need about fifty million other uncorrupted citizens to stand up with me. (Do we even have fifty million uncorrupted citizens?) And we can't become fractured by other social issues.....we must stay focused on this one issue only. So who's with me?
*que the music*
As John Belushi so eloquently said in the classic 1978 movie Animal House, "Our forefathers didn't back down when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, and we can't afford to back down now, either!"
Seriously, they're probably too rich / powerful to take on right now. We'll have to catch them when they come calling again for a handout, and that day WILL happen. Unfortunately I'm afraid the next crash could be even more devastating than it was in 2008.