In this video, famed economist Robert Reich explains how Wall Street became the behemoth that it is today and why we need to break up the big banks to save the American middle class and the integrity of our democracy.
Reich explains how when the Wall Street grows, economic inequality gets much worse and that is detrimental to the economy. On top of that, the biggest banks are working to roll back the Dodd-Frank Act and all the protections that were enshrined following the market crash in 2008. “The three largest banks own 44% of all the banking assets in the nation- up from 10% in 1990.”
To rectify this enormous disparity, Reich proposes three simples fixes. First, to revive the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which restricts the different ways that banks can gamble with the public’s money. Secondly, to institute a transaction tax on Wall Street gambles, which would not only deter risky moves but raise billions of dollars that we could use to, say, improve our schools or fix our decaying infrastructure. Thirdly, we need to break up the big six (Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup). Warren and Sanders had it right when they said “too big to fail = too big to exist”. It’s not even unprecedented- antitrust legislation was used to geld the oil industries and the telephone monopolies back in the day, and we need to use those same rules again to smash the power of Wall Street banks.
Watch it here:
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.