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Guide to Wall Street Reform
Read on to lean how Wall Street Reform can help Main Street - and how you can get involved.
PROTECTING CONSUMERS IN THE FINANCIAL MARKETPLACE
From credit cards to home mortgages to student loans to bank fees, the practices of Wall Street reach into the living rooms, dorm rooms and wallets of virtually every Oregonian, from cradle to grave.
In 2010, after the financial collapse, the subsequent multi-trillion dollar government bailout of Wall Street, and the public outcry that followed, Congress passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. It was the country’s first major strengthening of financial marketplace rules in over 75 years.
The goals of the 2010 law are important: prevent a future financial meltdown and taxpayer bailout and protect consumers and investors from deceptive bank practices. For consumers, the law's centerpiece is its establishment of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Find out more about the new law, key decisions that are being decided right now, and how you can have an impact on many aspects of Wall Street reform:
HISTORY OF A CRISIS
The roots of the current financial crisis are, in large part, due to activities of Wall Street’s largest players, and a series of decisions by federal policy makers to relax long-standing bank regulations.
After the Great Crash of 1929, a set of marketplace rules were enacted to stabilize the financial markets. These rules were intended to check the more excessive impulses of Wall Street, ensure that they did not take extreme risks with their customers’ money, and provide a basic degree of protection for bank deposits.
Financial markets remained relatively stable for about fifty years. Then, about 25 years ago, Congress weakened these laws several times, causing many Wall Street banks to take on increasingly risky behavior.
Nearly 1,500 Washington, D.C. lobbyists representing Wall Street firms pushed hard against passage of the law, and its effectiveness will be determined by hundreds of decisions currently being made by little-known government agencies that are in charge of implementing the law.
And there is a similar by Wall Street lobbyists currently underway in an attempt to influence the implementation of the law.
Your tax-deductible donation supports U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s work to educate consumers on the issues that matter, and the powerful interests that are blocking progress.
You can also support U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s work through bequests, contributions from life insurance or retirement plans, securities contributions and vehicle donations.