Ellen Brown: Giant bank holding companies now own airports, toll roads, and ports; control power plants; and store and hoard vast quantities of commodities of all sorts. How have they pulled this off, and where have they gotten the money?
Robert Reich: Blanche Lincoln wants to force the banks to put their derivatives into separate entities that aren’t subsidized by you and me. This is just common sense. Her move would also end the big banks’ monopoly over derivatives, thereby reducing their risk to the financial system. It would also cut dramatically into the big banks’ profits.
Robert Reich: So why is the FTC nosing around Apple and not around Wall Street? Because the Federal Trade Commission Act allows the agency to stop “unfair methods of competition” almost anywhere in the economy except in the financial sector. Banks are explicitly excluded. Another reason for financial reform.
Michael Sigman: Marxist socialism may be dead, but perhaps what Marx called capital’s internal contradictions, illustrated beautifully by the desperation of Goldman and other mega-corporations for short-term profits may, by strengthening the case for fundamental financial reform, bring us closer to a more livable world.
Tom Degan: It’s highly unlikely that any serious reform is going to be put forward until the Republican presence on Capital Hill has been significantly diluted if not eradicated. I do not believe that it is a given that they are going to gain major ground come Election Day. In fact there is every reason to believe that they will only continue to self-destruct between now and then. They can’t win without the section of the electorate who describe themselves as “moderate”. The moderates are taking a good look at the train wreck that is the modern GOP and by all accounts they’re becoming more and more disgusted by what they see.
Robert Reich: It’s now clear Lehman Brothers’ balance sheet was bogus before the bank collapsed in 2008, catapulting the Street and the world into the worst financial crisis since 1929. The Lehman bankruptcy examiner’s recent report details what just about everyone on the Street has known since the firm imploded – that Lehman defrauded its investors. Even Hank Paulson, in his recent memoir, referred to Lehman’s balance sheet as bogus.