Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

Deregulating Wall Street Sets the Stage for More Bailouts

Statements From Public Citizen Experts
WASHINGTON -

Wednesday evening, the U.S. Senate approved S. 2155, legislation that deregulates Wall Street, on a vote of 67-31. The bill was authored by U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), chair of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee and contains more than 40 provisions that include deregulation of banks with as much as $250 billion in assets, erasure of reporting requirements meant to combat racial discrimination in lending, permission for certain banks to speculate with depositor funds and many others. The bill goes now to the U.S. House of Representatives, which has passed more than 90 Wall Street deregulation measures this session.

The following are statements from Public Citizen experts in response:

“When Washington rolls back Wall Street rules, Americans suffer. It happened with savings and loan association deregulation, which led to a real estate collapse. It happened with repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999, which led to the 2008 crash. And it may well happen with this bill. It’s especially disappointing that Democrats made this possible – but not surprising, since nine of the 13 Democrats who sponsored the bill received more campaign cash from the financial industry than any other. Political spending should not determine financial policy.

“Washington insiders are telling a story about centrist Democrats up for reelection aiming to demonstrate their commitment to bipartisanship. But that fairy tale is upside down: among the public, there is in fact overwhelming bipartisan opposition to Wall Street deregulation.”

- Robert Weissman, president

“Public Citizen opposes this bill, as do all other consumer groups, as well as labor unions, civil rights leaders, faith leaders, university professors and, importantly, former regulators. Paul Volcker opposes it, as does Republican Sheila Bair, Independent Tom Hoenig of the FDIC and many others. Only bankers and Trump-appointed regulators support this bill.

“Masquerading as aid for community banks, this legislation reduces oversight of 25 of the largest 38 banks, a group guilty of misconduct and recipients of some $48 billion in bailout money after the 2008 crash. In addition to setting the stage for another taxpayer-funded bailout, this bill also reduces safeguards against discriminatory, predatory lending for some of the most vulnerable consumers. A number of senators have highlighted these problems. Public Citizen applauds U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.) and others for defending Main Street consumers in their valiant, though ultimately unsuccessful, effort on the Senate floor to stop this travesty.”

- Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs

“Ten years to the week after Americans began bailing out Wall Street with the rescue of Bear Stearns, the Senate heads us down the same path with this bill. Senators should make good on promises for financial reform such as the restoration of the Glass-Steagall, contained in both Democratic and Republican platforms. Instead, they are moving forward with removal of safeguards enacted after the 2008 Wall Street crash. Today, senators either brag they opposed the repeal of Glass-Steagall or regret that they supported it. The same will prove to be true of Crapo-Hensarling.”

- Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate

###

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people – not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

Despite Housing Crisis, Mississippi May Return Up to Millions in Federal Rent Aid to DC

"For them to suggest people like me aren't working? It's a slap in the face," said one woman affected by the end of the pandemic assistance program. "It's very insulting and degrading."

Brett Wilkins ·


80% of US Voters Across Party Lines Support Expanding Social Security

"With Republicans threatening to cut benefits—and worse, eliminate the program entirely—Dems need to make clear they're fighting to protect and expand benefits."

Jessica Corbett ·


Rich Nations Again Accused of Vaccine Hoarding as UK OKs Moderna Omicron Booster

"While countries like the U.K. buy updated vaccines for their fourth doses, people in low- and middle-income countries are fighting today's variants with yesterday's vaccines."

Brett Wilkins ·


With Trumpian Claims of Cheating, Starbucks Demands Halt to Union Elections

"Unfortunately, it's now in vogue for the losers of some elections nationwide to attempt to reverse elections by any means they think are necessary," said Starbucks Workers United.

Jake Johnson ·


Richest Country on Earth to One of Its Poorest: We're Keeping the Money We Stole From You

A foreign affairs columnist called the move by the Biden administration a "shortsighted, morally unconscionable, and potentially calamitous decision for a country on the cusp of universal poverty."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo