In this clip, Elizabeth Warren blames the political wind that accompanied the Ronald Reagan election for beginning to roll back the financial regulations that kept the insatiable hunger of Wall Street in check. Giving the keynote speech at the Institute for New Economic Thinking’s Finance & Society conference, Warren describes how the protective measures put into place after the Great Depression were repealed during the 1980s, opening the door for the cheating and gambling with the public’s money that led to the Great Recession and a loss of $14 trillion dollars to our economy at the hands of the Wall Street oligarchs, who are richer than they ever were before six years later.
“In the 1980s, a new political wind swept across the country. They called it ‘deregulation’ but it really meant ‘get rid of the cops on Wall Street’. The Fed and other bank regulators looked the other way as big financial institutions created new ways to trick their customers, first through credit cards and then through mortgages.”
Unfortunately, we all know how that story ends- with the collapse of our economy. It just goes to show, argues Warren, that markets without regulation do not work -“It’s pure empirical fact!…Rules are not the enemy of markets. Rules are necessary for healthy markets.”
She ends this clip by saying that we need to return to two fundamental principles- financial institutions shouldn’t be allowed to cheat people, and they should not be able to put their risks on the backs of the taxpayers. It’s time for Wall Street’s exploitation of the American people to come to an end. It’s gone on far too long.
Watch it here:
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.