Help Elizabeth Warren reform Wall Street with a 21st century Glass-Steagall Act
For over half a century, the Depression-era law known as the Glass-Steagall Act kept traditional commercial banks (where we have our checking accounts, saving accounts and the like) separate from high-risk investment banks. The government agreed to insure the deposits we make in commercial banks through the FDIC, with the understanding that these same banks weren't allowed to use these deposits as stakes in the Wall Street casino. If investment banks wanted to do that, that was fine, but they would do so with their own funds, not ones insured by the government.
That all changed in 1999 when the repeal of Glass-Steagall shattered the wall between commercial and investment banks, put insured funds at risk, and paved the way for the risky behavior that helped spur the financial crisis and the massive Wall Street bailouts.
Senator Elizabeth Warren is fighting back, and has proposed a modernized version, the 21st Century Glass Steagall Act. It would once again prohibit commercial banks from riskier investment-bank transactions, and would be updated to take into account the greater degree of banking complexity since the act was first written in 1933. Warren has built a bipartisan team of co-sponsors, and momentum to pass this bill is growing. But she will need grassroots support to make this happen.
Show your support for Elizabeth Warren, urge Congress to pass this critical legislation, and help bring badly needed reform to Wall Street.
If private investors want to use their own money to make risky bets on Wall Street, that should be up to them. But when giant banks place government-insured savings at risk, they do so knowing that they can keep any profits they make if things go well, but that ultimately U.S. taxpayers are on the hook if things go terribly wrong. That creates a perverse "heads you win, tails you win" scenario, and an incentive for them to be massively irresponsible.
Enough is enough. It's time to restore sanity to Wall Street and the banking system.
Sign the petition to show your support for Elizabeth Warren, and urge Congress to pass this critical legislation to bring badly needed reform to Wall Street.