#4. Bust Up Wall Street
When Americans think of how the economic rules are
stacked against them, they naturally think of Wall Street.
When the Wall Street bubble burst in 2008 because of
excessive risk-taking, millions of working Americans lost their jobs, health
insurance, savings, and homes.
But The Street is back to many of its old tricks. And
its lobbyists are busily rolling back the Dodd-Frank
Act, intended to prevent another crash.
The biggest Wall Street banks are also much larger. In
1990, the five biggest banks had 10 percent of all of the nation’s banking
assets. Now, they have 44 percent – more than they had at the time of the 2008 crash.
They have a virtual lock on taking
companies public, play key roles pricing commodities, are involved in all major
U.S. mergers and acquisitions and many overseas, and responsible for most of
the trading in derivatives and other complex financial instruments.
as they’ve gained dominance over the financial sector, they’ve
become more politically potent. They’re major sources of campaign funds for
both Republicans and Democrats.
Wall Street banks supply personnel for key
economic posts in Republican and Democratic administrations, and lucrative
employment to economic officials when they