Background and Timeline of the Wall Street Reform Bill
Today the House will vote on the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the most sweeping overhaul of the nation’s financial system since the Great Depression.
The Act will strengthen our financial regulations, prevent big Wall Street banks from playing Russian roulette with our futures, and create tough rules on the practices that caused the financial crisis.
Here are just some of the ways that the bill will strengthen our economy and help the American people:
- End bailouts of banks “too big to fail”
- Create a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to empower consumers with the best decisions on purchasing homes, equity, student loans, and credit, while protecting them from hidden fees and reining in deceptive practices
- Establish tough new rules on the riskiest financial products and derivatives, like the credit default swaps used by AIG to speculate on the value of sub-prime mortgages
- Prevent speculative trading by large financial firms with commercial banking operations
- Rein in egregious executive compensation and bonuses by giving shareholders a voice on compensation committees
- Audit the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending program
For eight years, President Bush and Republicans in Congress looked the other way while Wall Street made risky bets that contributed to the financial crisis. Stronger regulation will hold Wall Street accountable and consumer protections will prevent banks from selling loans, mortgages and credit cards that are abusive and unfair to Main Street Americans.