170 of the nation’s top economists have released a letter endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’s plan to reform Wall Street.
A letter signed by 170 economists including former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, University of Texas Professor James K. Galbraith, Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC., Brad Miller, former U.S. Congressman from North Carolina, and William K. Black, University of Missouri-Kansas City endorsed the Sanders plan to reform Wall Street.
The economists wrote:
In our view, Sanders’ plan for comprehensive financial reform is critical for avoiding another ‘too-big-to-fail’ financial crisis. The Senator is correct that the biggest banks must be broken up and that a new 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, separating investment from commercial banking, must be enacted.
Wall Street’s largest banks are now far bigger than they were before the crisis, and they still have every incentive to take excessive risks. No major Wall Street executive has been indicted for the fraudulent behavior that led up to the 2008 crash, and fines imposed on the banks have been only a fraction of the banks’ potential gains. In addition, the banks and their lobbyists have succeeded in watering down the Dodd-Frank reform legislation, and the financial institutions that pose the greatest risk to our economy have still not devised sufficient “living wills” for winding down their operations in the event of another crisis.
Secretary Hillary Clinton’s more modest proposals do not go far enough. They call for a bit more oversight and a few new charges on shadow banking activity, but they leave intact the titanic financial conglomerates that practice most shadow banking. As a result, her plan does not adequately reduce the serious risks our financial system poses to the American economy and to individual Americans. Given the size and political power of Wall Street, her proposals would only invite more dilution and finagle.
The only way to contain Wall Street’s excesses is with reforms sufficiently bold and public they can’t be watered down. That’s why we support Senator Sanders’s plans for busting up the biggest banks and resurrecting a modernized version of Glass-Steagall.
Both campaigns are rolling out endorsements on a daily basis, but the anger over Wall Street crashing the US economy and walking away with a slap on the wrist is one of the main drivers behind the popularity of Sen. Sanders.
Bernie Sanders has been on a crusade for years to reform Wall Street, and the success of his campaign is the worst nightmare of the country’s greedy big banks. The reality is that little has changed since the Great Recession. The big banks got bailed out and learned the wrong lesson from the recession. Wall Street feels bulletproof.
If the American people want to protect themselves from another economic collapse, it will take real reforms like those that are being proposed by Sen. Sanders.
170 economists agree that Bernie Sanders is the candidate who will hold Wall Street accountable.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association