Wall Street Reform

In 2008 there was a significant banking crisis that led to "the great recession," during which millions of people lost their homes, their jobs, and their standard of living.  This disaster was caused by reckless behavior on Wall Street.  

The federal government responded to this crisis by spending hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to bail out Wall Street.  While the government rushed to save the big banks because "they were too big to fail," they did very little to hold Wall Street executives responsible for their illegal behavior, and not nearly enough to reform the banking system and prevent such a crisis from happening again. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act did provide some very important regulations and consumer protections, but much more still needs to be done.

We need to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, which would separate commercial banking from investment banking so that a banking institution would not have access to depositors money for investment purposes.  We also need to break up the biggest banking institutions; if a bank is "too big to fail" then it is too big to exist and should be downsized.  

We should also consider implementing public, non-profit banking.  Many countries already do this without disrupting the overall banking market; we should do it here so that consumers have another banking option.