A Great First Step for Wall Street Reform
by Congressman John Garamendi, Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 10:46:31 AM EST
In my last post, I cited a New York Times story that indicated that most economists think the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is helping to create jobs and stimulate our economy. Earlier this week, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office confirmed the economists' findings.
According to the CBO, in the third quarter of this year alone, 600 thousand to 1.6 million jobs were directly created or saved by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, reducing our country's unemployment rate by 0.3 to 0.9 percent. This is an especially important finding for my home state of California, which at 12.3 percent, suffers from the third worst unemployment rate in the nation.
More solutions over the flip...
Under this legislation, consumers will finally have a federal regulator with teeth ready to battle predatory financial firms. We will stop financial conglomerates from becoming 'too big to fail' and provide legal and financial assistance to homeowners and tenants trying to save their homes. For the first time in U.S. history, we will regulate the over-the-counter derivatives marketplace, where millions of contracts between large banks have gone unregulated for years. We also require most private equity and hedge fund advisors to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission and expand the SEC's staff and anti-fraud capabilities. We also require full disclosure of financial firms' compensation structures and give shareholders the opportunity to give an advisory vote on executive compensation practices. With millions of Americans unemployed, including tens of thousands in my district, we can't afford further delay on this important package.
With my vote, I'm sending a simple message: no more. No more to abusive lending practices, no more to loopholes that allow billions of dollars between large firms to go unregulated, no more to a system that prioritizes short term profit in one sector over the long term health of an entire economy.
For eight years as California's Insurance Commissioner, I regulated the largest financial industry in America: its insurance companies. Now I'm prepared to take this experience and use it to stop abusive practices in our banking industry. The games have to stop; it's time we created an economy that focuses on the needs of Main Street, not just Wall Street.