Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman made news recently when he admitted that the Glass-Steagall Act should have never been repealed by the Clinton Administration. The Glass-Steagall Act was passed during the Great Depression to prevent another stock market crash and Depression, and it worked for decades.
Clinton Administration members, notably Secretary of Treasury Robert Rubin, urged the deregulation of Wall Street. Rubin, formerly of Goldman Sachs, successfully led the charge and the rest, as we say, is history. (Rubin went on to head CitiGroup which was formed after the repeal of Glass-Steagall, and has been bailed out by tax payers three times since then). That history includes the near collapse of the world economy, numerous bailouts of banks at tax-payer expense, flash crashes and the present state of what many people admit is a thoroughly corrupt financial system.
You and I have spent thousands of our own dollars (tax dollars) to bail out Wall St. banks guilty of fraud while their CEOs were not only not prosecuted, they received an average of $900 million in bonuses after the bail outs!
If you think that the corruption in banking only affects your tax bill, think again. Numerous banks, including American banks, have been found guilty of laundering money for drug cartels and terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda. That affects our security. The deregulation of Wall Street is also responsible for destruction of the American middle class, and income disparities that make the American Dream a virtual impossibility for all but the already rich 1%. For example, dozens of banks were found guilty of fixing interest rates for loans (the Libor scandal), something that directly affects you.
Lately there have been a few headlines about billion dollar fines of banks found guilty of laundering TRILLIONS of dollars for drug and terrorist organizations, but not one banker has been prosecuted. For example, HSBC has been found guilty of illegal money laundering repeatedly, yet not one executive has even faced criminal charges.
When I was younger I used to poke fun at the conspiracy theories on big banks and international bankers, but I have to say based on the facts that the corruption of banking is undeniable and a direct threat to our collective lives. I hope that all of you will join me in writing your Congresspersons and demand criminal investigations of Wall St. executives.