When I learned last winter that I would have a seat on the Senate Banking Committee, I was very happy because I knew it would give me the opportunity to ask tough questions and push for some accountability from Wall Street and its regulators. In the last six months, that's exactly what I've tried to do.
Again and again, I've been making a simple point to anyone who will listen: we need to learn from the financial crisis of 2008 and, moving forward, to prevent the kinds of high-risk activities that made a few people rich but nearly destroyed our economy.
Now it's time to launch the next push. I joined forces with Senators John McCain, Maria Cantwell, and Angus King to introduce the 21st Century Glass Steagall Act of 2013 to reinstate and modernize core banking protections.
Banking should be boring. Savings accounts, checking accounts -- the things that you and I rely on every day -- should be safe from the sort of high-risk activities that broke our economy.
The way our system works, the FDIC insures our traditional banks to keep your money safe. That way when you want to withdraw money from your checking account, you know the money will be there. That's what keeps our banking system safe and dependable.
But the government should NOT be insuring hedge funds, swaps dealing, and other risky investment banking services. When the same institutions that take huge risks are also the ones that control your savings account, the entire banking system is riskier.
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