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Breaking the Banks > Letters

Web Letter

With laws and regulations we usually miss the point.

The point is often not to regulate or to regulate, the point is to create smart regulation that actually accomplishes what it is supposed to without creating a new set of problems through the principle of unintended consequence.

As a result, we end up with lots of laws that sound good and have good intentions but which actually within the bigger picture may do more harm than good.

So the problem right now is that we do need regulation, since business won't-self regulate, but we do regulation very poorly.

In my own industry, real estate, I can identify billions of dollars wasted (serving no real social purpose) because of regulations created out of good intentions.

Good intentions are not enough, that is only the first step. The next step is to create regulations that actually make sense in the field and not only on paper.

Chris Alexander

LA, CA

Apr 27 2010 - 9:56pm

Web Letter

The entire Congressional "debate" or (lack there of) surrounding financial "reform" is about profits--and the ruling class's right to as much of it as possible. When the public's interests are bandied about by nobody but millionaires, you can rest assured that our interests are not being considered.

Capitalism's mouthpieces, Democrat and Republican alike, are alive and well and care only about perpetually prolonging the perversely stratified playing field presently in place. Until this debate includes the voices of bakers. nurses, waiters, cops and cab drivers, rather than debate there will be only a stranglehold on the kind of power that transforms democracy into merely a theory.

Capitalism is not democracy.

b. eliot minor

Harlem, New York, NY

Apr 27 2010 - 12:20am

Web Letter

The following ninety senators voted to reverse Glass-Steagall in 1999 (Glass-Steagall was the FDR response to the 1929 bank crash): Abraham, Akaka, Allard, Ashcroft, Baucus, Bayh, Bennett, Biden, Bingaman, Bond, Breaux, Brownback, Bunning, Burns, Byrd, Campbell, Chafee, Cleland, Cochran, Collins, Conrad, Coverdell, Craig, Crapo, Daschle, DeWine, Dodd, Domenici, Durbin, Edwards, Enzi, Feinstein, Frist, Gorton, Graham, Gramm, Grams, Grassley, Gregg, Hagel, Hatch, Helms, Hollings, Hutchinson, Hutchison, Inhofe, Inouye, Jeffords, Johnson, Kennedy, Kerrey, Kerry, Kohl, Kyl, Landrieu, Lautenberg, Leahy, Levin, Lieberman, Lincoln, Lott, Lugar, Mack, McConnell, Moynihan, Murkowski Murray, Nay Harkin, Nickles, Reed, Reid, Robb, Roberts, Rockefeller, Roth, Santorum, Sarbanes, Schumer, Sessions, Smith, Snowe, Specter, Stevens, Thomas, Thompson, Thurmond, Torricelli, Voinovich, Warner, Wyden

james l. pinette

Caribou, ME

Apr 22 2010 - 9:24pm

Web Letter

I have never liked or trusted Wall Street. I passed on an "opportunity" to covert my traditional pension plan for a 401(k) plan, because I knew Wall Street would screw up. What I want to see is commercial banks separated from investment banks, and investment banks taxed so that they flee the country. They can go to China, and maybe the Chinese will eventually put them in front of a firing squad. Otherwise, we need to follow the traditional American Progressive practice of breaking up any business that becomes to big to fail.

I want to see traditional savings practices return, where interest rates would be high enough encourage savings that provide fixed rate home loans and loans to small businesses. One reason many ordinary people became involved in real estate speculation and Wall Street was because they didn't receive any return on bank savings.

The American economy will be not recover if we do not control it. Our industrial base was built behind a wall of tariffs, and without tariffs, the industrial base, along with the jobs it supports, there will be no recovery. We once had a free and independent economy that was not supported by trade. We did it once, and we can do it again!

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Apr 22 2010 - 4:47pm

Web Letter

It’s a easier to invent an investment vehicle which will go down in value than to design one that will go up. A prizefighter who bets on his own fight knows that maybe he can win the fight but he can be sure of winning his bet if he just takes a dive.

How can we trust a debt-driven financial system that allows this type of flaw to be baked into the cake? Literally, this system made money by selling America short. It is a rigged system from a past century, designed by a handful of greedy swindlers in order to gain control over the entire financial economy. It is based on predatory usury, which caused people to flee Europe for America to establish a better life.

The challenge here is to make major changes that will not only rein in , regulate and protect but to change direction toward a system which can be trusted and offers new growth opportunities, unleashing the creative and innovative forces which exist within the country. The current debt-based system smothers those forces and indentures workers, and it has callously stolen a lifetime of sweat equity from millions of Americans.

The Goldman Sachs charges illustrate perfectly the need for the banks to be separated into functional parts and a form of the Glass-Steagall Act law re-enacted. G-S put all of the wrong people in the room together and became culpable. Their claim that the victims were knowledgeable professionals and should have known better is ironic. As knowledgeable professionals ("prudent men"), what should Goldman have done?

William J. Hague

Hoboken, NJ

Apr 22 2010 - 2:50pm