Every single business and every single family has felt the impact of the financial crisis. Wall Street gambled with your money and led us into this recession.
Eight million jobs were lost. Many businesses closed their doors. Home values plummeted and entire neighborhoods were lost to foreclosure. Families lost retirement and college savings.
The financial crisis took our entire economy to the brink. We’ve been living in the worst economic times since the Great Depression – so it’s fitting that this is the most sweeping reform to our financial sector since that time.
This reform is about giving families and businesses more security. Never again will Wall Street be able to threaten our entire economy.
First and foremost – this reform ensures that taxpayers will never again have to pay for reckless and irresponsible mistakes on Wall Street. It ends “too big to fail.” Now, large financial firms can be wound down without threatening our entire economy.
We also take great steps to protect consumers and add transparency to financial products. Most folks have gotten the unhappy surprise of hidden fees on loans or credit cards. This law changes that. Now consumers must be given clear information on financial products so that they can make the best decision.
And, simple as it sounds, this new law will help make sure that companies reward success instead of buying off failure because company shareholders can now have a say on CEO pay and compensation packages.
Some folks have said this reform isn’t strong enough. Is it perfect? No. But it puts in place much-needed safeguards and consumer protections.
Other folks say that it is too onerous on the financial industry – that smarter regulation and new protections for consumers overburden Wall Street. The bottom line is this – Wall Street won’t be able to take the same risks with your money. Wall Street may be unhappy about that, but I’m not, and neither are most Wisconsinites.
A crisis of this proportion requires bold action, and we delivered. And we’ll be working, even as this reform goes into effect, to further protect consumers and our economy.
U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) represents Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District.