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What is the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (DF) and, why must it go?

BY PAT MERRIMAN

Forbes reported that “to save the banks during the financial crash (commencing) in September of 2008 … the total (doled out to them) … is $16.8 trillion dollars … and the banks are now larger and still too big to fail.” Yep, the Obmanator, instead of breaking up these robber barons opted, instead, to double our national debt to bail them out.

No prosecutions for rigged bonds, money laundering for Mexican drug cartels ($881 billion) or, insider trading. Instead, gutting the 1933 Glass–Stiegel Act’s “regulating interest rates, establishing deposit insurance, and erected a wall between commercial and investment banking … (no) non-banking activities like securities and insurance.” Precipitated by Republican Phil Gramm in 1999.

The Obamanator’s role? “It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in – only temporarily, mind you – to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite … The big got even bigger.”

The Wall Street Journal adds, “Obama told the country that the legislation would ‘lift our economy’ … it would ‘end too big to fail’ and ‘promote financial stability’. None of that has come to pass … Big banks are bigger, small banks are fewer, and the financial system is less stable. Meanwhile, the economy remains in the doldrums.”

Essentially DF is based on the erroneous premise that the 2007 economic collapse was based on deregulation, “regulatory restrictions on financial services grew every year between 1999-2008 … it was dumb regulation.” In typical, inept Washingtonian style, DF didn’t hurt Wall Street, it nailed every hometown Main Street. “Community financial institutions, which make the bulk of small business loans, are overwhelmed by the law’s complexity. Government figures indicate that the country is losing on average one community bank or credit union a day.”

“What is most disturbing about Dodd-Frank is the authority it gives bureaucrats to control huge swaths of the economy. The director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency created by Dodd-Frank, can declare any consumer-credit product ‘unfair’ or ‘abusive’ and outlaw it … Dodd-Frank requires courts to grant the bureau deference regarding its interpretation of federal consumer-financial law.”

“Before Dodd-Frank’s passage, former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said that ‘no one will know until this is actually in place how it works.’ Today we know. The law he co-wrote with former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) is gradually turning America’s largest financial institutions into functional utilities and taking the power to allocate capital — the lifeblood of the U.S. economy — away from the free market and delivering it to political actors in Washington.”

The burden to you? The number of community banks has fallen by 40 percent, their share of banking assets declined from 41 percent to 18 percent, the Federal Reserve has kept its rates artificially low to shore up the dead economy, no more free checking, large banking fees are up, home ownership is the worst it’s been since 1965, savings account interest rates are abysmal, and new business starts have dropped almost 28 percent since 1977.

In other words, the economy has not recovered to any measurable extent in the last eight years. And, at the end of the day, DF has exacerbated the situation by allowing the “too big to fail banks” to get even bigger, and failier and, we’ve mortgaged our children’s future with this banking welfare which served no real purpose. Who knew intellectuals were dangerous?

Pat Merriman is the Dunn County State Attorney. He is a photographer and also officiates high school and college athletics events in the area.


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