Two years ago this month the financial giant Bear Sterns collapsed and Wall Street began to unravel, wiping out millions of jobs, driving millions of people from their homes, and plundering once healthy pension plans. And all this time later there is still no reform from Congress, to prevent the reoccurrence of such a tragedy. A crippled little bill seems to be hobbling out of the wreckage but still faces an array of well-armed forces gunning for it.
And that's no surprise. In the two recent election cycles, members of the Senate Banking Committee received more than $39 million from Wall Street and the banks, while members of the House Financial Services Committee raked in more than $21 million. So just how serious do you think these members of Congress are going to be about true reform?
The companies that come to have so much control over our financial system are so politically powerful that they cannot be allowed to fail. This we saw in the crisis with Citigroup, and with American International Group, the big insurer, as well as with Bear Stearns which was merged into JP Morgan to avoid complete failure.
We saw these companies that had been allowed to grow into monsters take enormous risks all the while, which then the taxpayer had to cover, had to "backstop,' when their risky deals went bad. Problem is, we are now nowhere closer than before to any kind of technique or strategy that could prevent such a reckless and largely unregulated behemoth from rising up again.
What's the explanation for the delay? Why has it taken so long?