The Status Quo—Great for Wall Street, Fatal to Main Street

Today two forces are facing off over financial reform—those who want real reform of Wall Street’s greed and damaging practices and those who want to keep the status quo. 

Community bankers want real reform because the status quo has allowed only five institutions to control more than half of the nation’s deposits. 

The status quo brought us skyrocketing and special FDIC assessments, dumped commercial real estate and the GSE preferred stock debacle.

The status quo has meant massive and unprecedented government support for Wall Street mega firms.  And on Main Street, where a fraction of that largesse could have saved hundreds of community banks, the status quo has brought us nothing but pain and regulatory enforcement orders—even though the vast majority of community banks are well-managed institutions.

Now Wall Street and their allies in Washington are trying to manipulate community bankers into going against their best self-interests by opposing the only legislation that will put an end to Wall Street’s outrageous advantages. 

Community bankers cannot afford to stand by silently. If no financial reform bill passes, community bankers will continue to see their franchise values erode, Wall Street’s profits rise and the mega firms get even bigger and more bulletproof.  Upholding the status quo guarantees that Wall Street will only consume what’s left of Main Street when the next financial crisis comes. 

Don’t let that happen. Fight for equal treatment. Fight to end the too-big-to-fail policies that created the crisis.

We must have financial reform, and we must have it now. Tell your member of Congress.

5 thoughts on “The Status Quo—Great for Wall Street, Fatal to Main Street

  1. Mr. Fine
    Whatever happened to all the talk of a new TARP (or something similar) for community banks to spur lending. Lending also is being deterred with the Fed closing back up the Discount Window and recent requirements by HUD.

  2. Tim, expending more tax dollars for community bank capitol is likely politically impossible this year. Even a simple assistance program that doesn’t involve public funds, such as allowing community banks to amortize CRE losses over 10 years for regulatory capital purposes, seems to be stymied by the poisonous political atmosphere in D.C. It’s discouraging.

  3. Umm, that’s all fine and good but what about CFPA/CFPB?? And don’t tell me that we are exempt from this all-powerful, unaccountable new bureaucracy that will likely be led by Elizabeth Warren, whose record and views on banks are well-documented. We may be exempt from her exams but not her rules and regs. As long as this agency is in the bill, we should oppose.

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