Credo Action

Tell Democratic leaders: Endorse the Warren Wall Street reform agenda

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Petition to leaders of the Democratic party, including President Obama, Congressional leaders, and presidential candidates such as Secretary Hillary Clinton:

"Publicly endorse Senator Elizabeth Warren’s recently announced agenda to reform Wall Street, including ending slaps on the wrist for law-breaking and breaking up too-big-to-fail banks."

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    Tell Democratic leaders: Endorse the Warren Wall Street reform agenda

    Senator Elizabeth Warren just laid out a Wall Street reform agenda that every single Democrat should get behind.

    In a major speech this week, Senator Warren hammered regulators who have gone soft on Wall Street by providing slaps on the wrist instead of jail time for cheating their customers. She called for ending tax giveaways to large banks, and outlined why we need to finally break up the too-big-to-fail banks.1

    Senator Warren’s plan is simple, straightforward, and after the financial crash of 2007 and 2008, it should be common-sense. If a Democratic politician can’t get behind this, that person probably shouldn’t be leading other Democrats in the House, Senate, or in the White House.

    Tell Democratic leaders: Endorse the Warren Wall Street reform agenda.

    At a time when the corporate shills in the Democratic party are increasingly voting with Republicans in Congress to gut the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, Senator Warren spoke the truth about what’s really going on. "Republicans claim loudly and repeatedly that they support competitive markets,” she said, “but their approach to financial regulation is pure crony capitalism that helps the rich and the powerful protect and expand their power and leaves everyone else behind.”2

    Most importantly, the senator from Massachusetts laid out a simple, no-nonsense agenda to complete the “unfinished business” of Wall Street reform3:

    * Hold financial institutions and individuals accountable for cheating customers. Stop offering “deferred prosecution” get-out-of-jail-free cards and giving special status to companies that were already caught breaking the law. Impose mandatory fines equal to the profits from illegal conduct. Make the governors of the Federal Reserve personally approve all settlement deals, and close the loophole that prevents the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from protecting people buying a car.4

    * Stop financial institutions from passing risk on to taxpayers. Cap the size of big banks and break them up if they grow too large. Restrict the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending authority so banks know they won’t get a bailout for bad behavior. Pass the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act to reinstate the barrier between commercial and investment banking that once prevented financial crises for decades.5

    * Change tax policies that encourage excessive risk-taking and financial instability. Reduce risky and pointless speculation with a small sales tax on certain financial transactions, like the one proposed by Representative Keith Ellison and backed by more than 65,000 CREDO members.6 Force companies to rely less on debt by ending the tax-deductibility of interest payments, and close the loophole that allows big companies to write off billions in bonuses for top executives.7

    * Create simple, structural rules for regulating the shadow banking sector. Companies that act just like banks but aren’t regulated like banks pose a massive risk to the financial system, and it is time regulators took the threat seriously.8

    "The fight over financial reform can't be over to back up a little or to back up a lot," Warren told reporters. "It has to be about finishing the job."9 She’s right – and so we need to demand that every Democrat get behind this agenda and commit to making it law.

    Tell Democratic leaders: Endorse the Warren Wall Street reform agenda.

    Senator Warren also aimed her fire at regulators like the Justice Department, Federal Reserve, and Securities and Exchange Commission for fostering a culture where big banks and corporations can break the law and get away with settlements and slaps on the wrist, suffering no jail time or even real consequences. Her plan demands something from everyone – from Congress, to the administration, to regulatory agencies – and Wall Street will fight it tooth and nail.

    This is an agenda that can win the support of Americans disillusioned with a rigged game, and end the crony capitalism that makes us all poorer. Hundreds of thousands of CREDO members have already demanded that Democrats protect Wall Street reform and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – now it is time to demand they set their sights on finishing the job. If Democratic leaders want to unequivocally show they stand with working people, not Wall Street bankers, they should immediately endorse Warren’s “Unfinished Business” agenda.

    Tell Democratic leaders: Endorse the Warren Wall Street reform agenda.

    Thank you for speaking out,

    1. Elizabeth Warren Calls On Congress To Break Up The Big Banks, Change Tax Rules,” Reuters, April 15, 2015.
    2. Senator Elizabeth Warren, “‘The Unfinished Business of Financial Reform,’ Remarks as Prepared for Delivery,” Warren.Senate.gov/, April 15, 2015.
    3. Unfinished Business Proposals One-Pager,” Warren.Senate.gov, April 15, 2015.
    4. Ibid.
    5. Ibid.
    6. Tell Congress: Support the Robin Hood tax on Wall Street gambling,” CREDO Action.
    7. Unfinished Business Proposals One-Pager,” April 15, 2015.
    8. Ian Talley, “IMF Warns (Again) of Growing Shadow-Banking Risks,” Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2015.
    9. Zach Carter, “Elizabeth Warren Hammers The Endless Failures Of Wall Street Regulators,” HuffingtonPost, April 15, 2015.