It comes down to whose side you are on. Senate Democrats know that people are hurting because of the gap that exists between Wall Street and Main Street. We are committed to closing that divide and we are hopeful that Republicans work with us to strengthen our economy through these measures.
– Majority Leader Harry Reid, 3/16/10
Over the last two years millions of Americans have suffered from the effects of the worst financial and economic crises since the Great Depression: 8.4 million Americans have lost their jobs, small businesses have failed, nearly seven million people in the United States have lost their homes to foreclosures, and millions more have seen their savings and retirement accounts lose most of their value – economic pain that tears at the very fiber of the middle class.
All this was caused by greedy and reckless behavior of Wall Street and the Republican economic policies that encouraged excessive risk-taking and a laissez-faire approach to financial regulation and oversight. The failures that led to this crisis require bold action to help us recover and ensure that it never happens again.
We must restore responsibility and accountability in our financial system.
We must create a sound foundation to grow the economy, create jobs, and restore consumer and investor confidence in our markets. That’s why we are committed to:
Those standing in the way of real reform want to continue the failed policies that got us here. Those who oppose these principles are standing with Wall Street lobbyists who are trying to maintain the status quo – at the expense of ordinary Americans – and take us back to the failed Bush economic policies of the last decade. They want more of the same: taxpayer-funded bailouts, CEO bonuses, and policies that take advantage of families and small businesses.
Real Wall Street reform is about restoring transparency, accountability, and fairness to our economy. Senate Democrats support reform that will stop abuses by big Wall Street banks that cost taxpayers billions in bailouts; crack down on the deceptive practices of credit card companies and predatory lenders; and help small businesses by creating a more stable and dependable flow of credit for them.
Wall Street reform is about restoring the American Dream for working and middle-class families and small business owners. Real reform will ensure that Americans are rewarded for hard work, not reckless financial gambles that undermine our economic future.