Republicans haven’t learned a single thing about the rise of Donald Trump. Instead of, say, actually working to help the base they’ve scorned for decades, they’re hard at work making sure Wall Street can collapse the economy again:
WASHINGTON — The Republican chairman of the House Financial Services Committee plans to outline on Tuesday a legislative proposal that aims to dismantle significant portions of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory overhaul.
That’s right, the same law that’s keeping the banks from recklessly gambling with taxpayer money has got to go. Why? Because it’s regulating the free market and that’s just awful!
The Republican plan does not ‘force’ any bank to raise a dime of new capital,” Mr. Hensarling said in a copy of his remarks, which were obtained by The Times in advance. “Rather, it allows banks to opt into a regime that replaces Dodd-Frank’s suffocating regulatory complexity and control with market discipline.
Show me a person that believes that Wall Street is capable of even the tiniest shred of discipline and I will show you a fool. The entire financial crisis was caused explicitly by their inability to control their overwhelming greed. At every level, they knew that what they were doing was going to end in disaster but that was going to be someone else’s problem. In the short term, there were billions to be made and that’s all that mattered.
The plan would also repeal the Volcker Rule, which aims to stop banks from making some risky bets with their own money. Moreover, the legislation would prevent a body of regulators known as the Financial Stability Oversight Council from designating any nonbanks as ‘systemically important.’ MetLife recently won a federal court case to throw out its “too big to fail” label from the F.S.O.C., but other companies, including the American International Group and Prudential Financial, are still covered. General Electric’s financial unit has applied to have the designation removed.
At the same time, the proposal would allow the country’s largest banks to exempt themselves from capital and liquidity requirements and other regulatory standards if they hold enough capital to maintain a leverage ratio of 10 percent.
I know it’s “common knowledge” that Wall Street owns both parties but there’s a reason that the financial industry turned on the Democrats after Dodd-Frank was passed: It’s keeping them from reaping obscene profits from unnecessarily risky deals. And it’s crushing the entire shadow banking industry that really turned what should have been a market correction into a global financial catastrophe in 2008. That’s what the “systemically important” designation is about that the corporations are fighting so hard against; it’s puts corporations like AIG that aren’t banks but act like one anyway under strict rules. Those rules make it unprofitable to dangerously gamble with the economy so they want it gone.
And, of course, Republicans are more than happy to help.
Oh, and you’ll be shocked to know that Republicans are also targeting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by Senator Elizabeth Warren to curb the massive theft and fraud the financial industry have been engaged in for decades:
The legislation would also restructure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and remove some of its powers. The plan would replace the agency’s single director with a bipartisan commission, which would be called the “Consumer Financial Opportunity Commission.” All of the financial regulatory agencies would have to abide by heightened cost-benefit analysis standards that critics have argued are designed to slow or even halt the rule-writing process. The financial agencies would also be reformed as bipartisan commissions and subject to the congressional appropriations process, except in the case of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.
“Bipartisan” meaning “enough Republicans to stop any and all regulations” and “subject to the congressional appropriations process” meaning “If we can’t stack it with obstructionist Republicans, we’ll simply cut its funding until it can’t function at all.”
This insane push to let Wall Street devastate the economy again in exactly the same way is a sure sign that they think Trump is some kind of aberration. Surely after he’s gone, conservative voters will come right back to the regular GOP and let them continue catering to the one percent at the expense of everyone else’s future? Right?
I think they underestimate just how angry conservatives are at the party of the rich, by the rich, for the rich.
Featured image via Flickr