Sen. Richard Shelby wants Wall Street to be free!

In 2010, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act to regulate the banksters on Wall Street, who crashed our economy in 2008, and many people believe the law doesn't go far enough. But Republican lawmakers have spent the past two years working to undercut and water-down the legislation, and Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama thinks the banksters shouldn't be burdened with those pesky regulations at all.

Instead of working to prevent Wall Street's high-stakes betting from causing another economic disaster, Sen. Shelby plans to introduce legislation that would require a cost-benefit analysis on any new financial regulations before they can be enacted. This is more than just the typical watering-down of legislation we see from Republicans...this is an attempt to block Wall Street regulation all together, and an effort to put bankster greed ahead of the needs of our nation. According to Shelby, “if a regulation's cost outweighs its benefits, it should be thrown out.”

Wouldn't it have been great if Wall Street had done a societal cost-benefit analysis before gambling with our economy? Or if they had to prove that their greed couldn't take down our entire financial system again. Seems to me like Wall Street, which hit a record high yesterday, is doing just fine under the current regulations.

The Dodd-Frank Act doesn't go far enough. It's time to strengthen regulations, and implement a financial transaction tax to make Wall Street banksters pay for the risky bets they make with our economy.


stonesphear's picture
stonesphear 10 years 3 weeks ago

" The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group. " - FDR

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 3 weeks ago

Seems to me that they got the wrong buildings during 911...many of the billionaires live at 740 Park Avenue...including king koch-roach...David Kochroach. And also Stephen "cockroach" Swartzman (middle initial A. might stand for @$$hole). But then if you check out that building on google earth (street view) it makes one wonder what is so special about it. Just another New York 'roach motel'. Not much different than any other slummy building in New York. But I guess if you have a whole floor..or several floors to yourself at the penthouse level and have gold plated faucets in your bathroom it could be just a matter of deception when viewed from the outside. And I'm sure these billionaires have many other places they call 'home' as well...French villas on the Riviera..or like Swartzman's ocean side mansion at 1768 S. Ocean Boulevard, Palm Beach, Florida...check it out on Google Earth (street view).

The problem is that if someone were to do a massive "Raid" on these top billionaires, there would be many more cockroaches moving up the ladder as they inherit all that wealth from their dead predecessors. None of it will drip down to the rest of us.

joebhed's picture
joebhed 10 years 3 weeks ago

No problem at all. Along with freedom comes responsibility - it's an age-old conservative tenet. It's a perfect opporutnity to amend with only one part - that the Fed and the Treasury are FORBIDDEN from bailing them out when their uber-deregulation brings home the bacon, as it soon will.

But that would still screw the real economy unless we separate the real economy from the bankster economy - easily enough done with Kucinich's H.R. 2990. Public money administration.

We're home free.

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 10 years 3 weeks ago

A very interesting detailed well thought out and developed proposal. However, such a fundamental change of this magnitude, needs robust rational discussion, pro's and con's, intended and unintended side-effects, long- and short-term implications. Who's gonna be for it, and who's gonna loose power, control and profits? What other countries do it this way, and how does it work -- in the current grand (financial) scheme of things?

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 10 years 3 weeks ago

It's utterly simple (though I hate to over-simplify); the best systems require freedom for entrepreneurs and individuals to innovate, while working within a sufficiently regulated environment, ensuring overall predictability and responsibility to the overall common good. Is that too tough to comprehend or manage?

Good managers understand the benefits of predictability and responsibility; while scoundrels and charlatains, prefer the chaos of less and less regulation.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 3 weeks ago

Score another one for the piggies and cockroaches!

jamesannon's picture
jamesannon 10 years 3 weeks ago

Well said. I would add that a lot of what we call overregulation is actually lobbying by big money to complicate the matter more and make it more difficult for thecompetition. I also know a lot of smart well meaning people who believe that the problem is regulation, not crooks and hortsightedness

bobcox's picture
bobcox 10 years 3 weeks ago

Alan Blinder, former Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ,Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research , Professor of Economics and Public Affairs in the Economics Department at Princeton Univ. author of After the Music Stopped, published by Penguin in January 2013 .

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 10 years 3 weeks ago

The Lone liberal Rumble

The guy in the background, David on the monitor, says where is the leadership, he needs to be re-evolved, or revived. With a laugh and giggle.

Thom a person like that needs your infamous saying; tag, your it! He must be a Republican at heart because they all run around saying where is the leadership with the President? It is so funny. Whereas we the people are the leadership to be of sound mind and realize that it is self-evident we all should have a right to free speech and submit our American dream, assemble without getting beaten, and be received by our representatives instead of being cornered bludgeoned with pepper spray.

Please a bubble is the Gaussian calculus taken to the limit. The average America that does not know how or what techniques the skilled banksters swindle through the sweet spot to profits. The no sweat Romney system was designed for the rich, domestic and international back in 1913 at Jekyll island a hundred years ago. It’s high time we change this, especially with the stock market stuff, and the federal reserve concept, free money at that one percent end for over a century is simply lining up in a real cockeyed way. Making all of main street a wall street is likely to happen in the future. Especially with no closing bells and much regulated with buying selling for anyone who wants to. No more back seats on the stock exchange America needs a “Rosa Parks” to help reform the system. Hint that Elizabeth girl.

My suggestion is reform through the Post Office connected by fiber optic all Americans must be connected just like a physical mail box now an electronic mail box for everyone as directed by the Constitution. Big deal, you bet, big jobs, you bet, high technology, you bet, and not just for stock market stuff. America could have education through graduate or doctorate studies online save gas. Medical home treatment done via fiber applications diagnostics in your sleep. Citizens connected for better government participation, and a citizen’s national security network for safety. Someday Americans will understand and believe communications can more important than owning a gun.

bobcox's picture
bobcox 10 years 3 weeks ago

There should be an Amentment to the U.S. Constitution such that Congress shall pass no Appropriatiation Act unless it contains a provision to pay for the said Appropriayons by increasing the receipts to the Treasury. Additionally: When the Appropriation Bill expires or is repealed the represented tax shall expire. Additionally: Repeal Amendment 27 anr restore yhe original wprding of the Constitution with the following: Wher the Coinstitution states that "members of Congress shall be paid by the U.S Reasury." the period at the end of the sentence should be replaced by a comma and further: "but nenbers of Congress shall not be paid out of indebetedness, in cases of an emergency when salaries are noit paid by the U.S Treasury, the members of Copmgress shall be provided with lodging and food at trhe same rate as the lowest paid memnber of the Armed Forces."

Cases of solicitation and receiving of bribery or other benefits, current or future, should be handled as capital crimes og the first ordrt.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 10 years 3 weeks ago

I'm willing to bet, but not 10 Grand, that Shelby doesn't understand financial reform anymore than I do. Of course he doesn't give a crap about understanding it because in his world unregulated shadow banking would just be part of the free market. Never mind the cyclical severe financial crisis it always leads to. However as a concerned citizen I do care. I care enough to realize the solution requires someone like Paul Krugman who is obviously qualified and has the knowledge to fix the banking crimes problem. In fact it would be great if Thom could have him on the often as possible!

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 10 years 3 weeks ago

For online education, who is going to grade all the papers?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 10 years 3 weeks ago

As I have said before, the lower the pay for members of congress, the more beholden to the "1%" they will be. (Where 1% really means the .01%)

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 3 weeks ago

If we made every member of Congress multi-billionaires...I doubt that they would be less beholding to the other multi-billionaires. They are all pretty rich to begin with but I doubt any of them believe they are "rich enough"...nor would they ever believe that. I think there is only one thing that would make them all change their tune...but I doubt if the American people, en masse, would have the stomach for what it would take....although they eventually got around to it before when things got so bad they all had nothing else to lose...prompting FDR to change his tune.

You didn't think FDR was, initially, all for changing the rotten system, did you? He was part of the rotten system and he showed his true colors when he first got into office and refused to pay the soldiers what was due them...the ones that helped win the war (WW1) for us (or, perhaps I should say..for the banksters). How low can you get? The wealthy parasites who got richer off the war didn't want to pay the soldiers what was promised them as they, and their families, suffered under extreme poverty and hardship. Thank goodness MacArthur road in on his "high horse", dispersing the soldiers families, who were camped out on the Capitol lawn. MacArthur's troops used gas and bayonets, burning all the tents and belongings. MacArthur acted largely under his own initiative and made such an ass of himself and of the FDR administration that it looked really bad for FDR. I suspect that FDR's affliction also helped sway him as he got to know fellow sufferers at that Warm Spring spa.

The rich will just keep raking in the money and power until they are scared sh1tless of a massive violent revolution. Under such conditions, they all could not only lose all their wealth but their lives as well. I hope it never happens; but, I also hope that wealthy people change their tune...but, I know that will certainly never happen either. They'll just keep screwing us because they aren't afraid of us. When more and more people start to talk "crazy" and act "crazy" and take to the streets in massive demonstrations surpassing those during the Vietnam war...then we might have a chance of scaring some wealthy people into some sense. Why do you think they are building that $2billion NSA "communications" (spy) center in Utah? And why do you think they are trying to scare us by creating propaganda about billions of hollow point bullets being procured for various government agencies? They are preparing for massive discontent in the U.S. They know what they've been doing to us and they are preparing for the possibility of a massive rebellion by the citizens all across the nation.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 3 weeks ago

It may look promising now..with all time high stock market numbers...but.... it is yet another bubble about to pop....and it will be way worse than the 2008 crash...says some financial people whose predictions have never been wrong. Of course some of these people are trying to blame it on social programs like Social Security. And in that respect, they are definitely wrong. It has largely been a runaway Pentagon spending brought on largely by the illegal, immoral, and totally unnecessary wars and domestic spying allowed to happen through the false flag operation of 9/11 and the casino capitalism schemes from deregulation. But the only geriatric set who are causing the problems are the many sexagenarians, septuagenarians, and octogenarian billionaires and many of the less fortunate multi-millionaires who have spent their lives stealing other people's money and have no intention of changing their bad habits.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 3 weeks ago


MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 10 years 3 weeks ago

What has me scratch'en my head...The people cast their vote...The Dem's won the ultimate position...President of the United (not divided) States of America.
Step aside "Bonner" your party isn't in charge. Sure you rule the house and senate but it is the People (voters) by which this country belongs to.
Maybe if you can get a halfway intellagent sane republican candidate for 2016 you can have your cake and eat it too. But for now the People of the United State of America want a stronger social agenda, and a smaller budget for the Pentagon.

And Mr President...Grow a pair and start fullfilling the expectations of those who elected you President. I'll give you a clue as to who the majority of those people won't find them on Wall St.

Craig Bush's picture
Craig Bush 10 years 3 weeks ago

Here in CA we have an I-Bank for distressed education districts. We are trying to develop a state bank with a new "green" financial sector. A new west coast stock echange. This green sector will sell any instrument that contributes to the green economy. A financial transaction fee will be earmarked for converting all public commons to new conservation technology using green energy.

I greatly admire the new senator from MA. She gave Bernanke a grilling on the long time for change under Dodd. Why are there still "too big to fail" entities? His response was it takes time. Will a drop of water at a time wash away greed? I say dismantle the ones too big to fail now. Never allow for the powerful to hold a gun to our economy ever again.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While
From Cracking the Code:
"Thom Hartmann ought to be bronzed. His new book sets off from the same high plane as the last and offers explicit tools and how-to advice that will allow you to see, hear, and feel propaganda when it's directed at you and use the same techniques to refute it. His book would make a deaf-mute a better communicator. I want him on my reading table every day, and if you try one of his books, so will you."
Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a creative thinker and committed small-d democrat. He has dealt with a wide range of topics throughout his life, and this book provides an excellent cross section. The Thom Hartmann Reader will make people both angry and motivated to act."
Dean Baker, economist and author of Plunder and Blunder, False Profits, and Taking Economics Seriously