Financial Reform: How We Can Save Our Economy

Linked with Propsperity Agenda.us, with Mobilize for our Economy, and with A New Way Forward.

Published on Global Research.ca (first on Prosperity Agenda), by Tiffiny Cheng and David DeGraw and Kevin Zeese, May 13, 2010.

The next few weeks will culminate into a defining moment in American history and lay the course for our economic future. After two years of being asleep at the switch, Congress is finally stepping up and taking action on financial reform. The resulting bill will be a clear indication and definitive proof as to who is actually running our country. Will it reinforce the dominance of the Wall Street elite, or will it mark a rebirth of the rule of law and economic prosperity for millions of Americans who have seen their standard of living decline? … // 

… After trillions in bailouts – a cover for the greatest theft of wealth in history – we are seeing record-breaking profits and bonuses on Wall Street. We have the power to stop this looting, break up this concentrated power and take back the economy. We just have to stand up for ourselves – TOGETHER.

We can break the financial oppression, and here’s how we will do it.

The Mobilization for OUR Economy begins while the Obama Administration and Congress are debating reform of the financial industry. However, much more than what is being proposed is needed to give Americans control over their economic lives. To achieve these objectives, we are working to make the following common-sense reforms into reality:

  • #1) Break up the “Too Big To Fail” Banks. You can’t have free-market competition when a handful of big banks can rig the market and regulatory structure to benefit themselves at the expense of everyone else. We will continue to push for reforms put forth in the Kaufman-Brown SAFE Banking Act.
  • #2) Put in place a transparent open exchange for over-the-counter derivatives and ban High Frequency Trading (HFT). Investigate all prior HFT and frontrunning activities, including the sudden 1000 point stock market plunge on May 6th. Create a team of experts to analyze/restructure/dissolve existing derivative contracts to reduce risk. We support Senator Blanche Lincoln’s Wall Street Transparency and Accountability Act.
  • #3) Require stricter accounting standards so the real value and debt/liabilities of banks are understood. With this, a more responsible executive pay structure must be implemented. Investigate firms and hold them liable for accounting scams. Clawbacks must be implemented on bonuses and executive compensation that was based on false profits. Investigate the Federal Reserve’s role in covering up, aiding and abetting firms in accounting fraud.
  • #4) Rein in corporate power. Stop corporate welfare – no more bailouts! End
    corporate personhood and reverse the Citizens United court decision by a constitutional amendment. We must also make sure that all taxpayer funds and loans handed out in the bailout are returned with an interest rate that reflects current profit margins that were created as a result of our tax money.
  • #5) Audit the Federal Reserve. There should be zero secrecy in this private banking corporation that prints U.S. dollars and extends zero interest loans to a select few. The Fed should either be dismantled or re-made to represent the interests of the American people, not the banks, and include elected positions on their Board of Governors.
  • #6) Tax trading of stocks, bonds, derivatives and options. A small micro-tax applied to large firms would slow high-risk speculation and provide significant revenue, allowing reduction of income taxes, withholding taxes and adequately fund government operations.
  • #7) Corresponding to our second objective, close the casino by reinstating both a modernized version of the Glass–Steagall Act, which separated commercial and investment banking, and a strict Net Capital rule that limits wild risk-taking and speculating.
  • #8) Shut the revolving door and put up a strict firewall between finance executives and government regulators and officials.
  • #9) End usurious credit card and pay day loans. Cap interest rates and get rid of hidden bank fees.
  • #10) Create an empowered and independent Consumer Protection Agency (CPA). Investigate predatory lending schemes, liar’s loans and put a moratorium on home foreclosures, as the first steps in what will be many investigations into abusive practices. Credit rating agencies should be regulated by the CPA and function independently of the firms producing the products being rated.
  • #11) Urgently hire 1,500+ white-collar crime investigators to enforce existing laws.
  • #12) Fire, investigate and prosecute government officials like Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, Larry Summers and John Dugan, and investigate Hank Paulson, Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin, all of whom played a significant role in the financial collapse and the massive “transfer” of wealth to the finance industry. Also investigate and prosecute, under RICO statutes, top executives in financial firms who engaged in fraudulent activity. Appoint people like Elizabeth Warren, Simon Johnson, Joseph Stiglitz, William Black and Ron Paul to positions of authority over the economy.

These are our primary objectives and the necessary steps that must be taken to take OUR economy back. If the financial reform bill, that has been two years in the making, doesn’t live up to this 12-step program, we will know that our politicians have sold us short once again.

The Wall Street elite have controlled our political process for too long!

We must show them that we mean business this time, so STAND UP and fight for your future. Join us at sit-ins, protests and rallies across the United States. We can take back our country. We can regain control over our economic lives.

The time is now!
HISTORY IS CALLING YOU!
YOUR FUTURE IS CALLING YOU!
YOU ARE NEEDED!
Sign up at www.forOUReconomy.org

(full text).

(Tiffiny Cheng directs A New Way Forward, David DeGraw directs AmpedStatus.com and Kevin Zeese directs ProsperityAgenda.US).

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