Baseline Scenario on the status of financial reform measures in the Senate

Baseline Scenariio writes that the Senate leadership, both Dems and Republicans, have put a damper on the bounds of debate surrounding proposed financial reform legislation.

The size of the big banks is an essential issue that needs to be confronted if the fiance sector is going to be reformed in such a manner that further financial disasters will be avoided.

“the SAFE Banking Act – with meaningful size and leverage caps – which is ideally suited as a way for senators to show whether or not they support the continued existence of our largest banks in their current (very dangerous) form”….

“The Senate leadership – on both sides of the aisle – has apparently decided that they do not want to give senators (and the public) the opportunity to focus their attention on this key issue. Instead, they would prefer to keep the “debate”, in terms of votes, on issues less likely to infuriate powerful banks.”

The post concludes with this essential point:

“But how much is this freedom worth if the political power of the megabanks – based on campaign contributions, lobbying efforts, and more general ideological control – can effectively prevent an up-or-down vote in the US Senate on the most pressing issue of financial reform?

This is, of course, partly about the political power of corporations. But corporations are, in this sense, merely a veil – this is really all about which people have what kind of power in our society. To what extent are we really still a democracy – and how far have we already slipped down the road to oligarchy?”

Are we still a democracy?

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