by Beth Connolly on May 10, 2012
Matt Taibbi makes his living throwing stones at Wall Street. In the May 24, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone, he shines his muckraking headlamp on Dodd-Frank.
According to Taibbi, the enormous reform bill once hailed as an epic response to crisis 2008 and a means of preventing another financial crisis is “groaning on its deathbed.” Who killed it? Wall Street, of course.
“Congressmen and presidents may be able to get a law passed once in a while,” writes Taibbi, “but they can no longer make sure it stays passed.”
Taibbi argues that in a relentless and tireless onslaught of well-funded lobbyists, lawsuits, stalling, bullying, and masterminding loopholes, Wall Street titans, aka, “Washington’s paymasters” have brought the bill to its knees.
Here’s an excerpt from Taibbi’s piece:
That means all those thousands of hours of debate and fierce negotiation spent hammering out Dodd-Frank two years ago might now go up in smoke in a matter of a few quiet minutes. Of the big-ticket items that were actually passed two years ago, the derivatives reforms have been completely gutted by loopholes, the Volcker Rule has been delayed for two years, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may be thrust under the budgetary control of Congress, which is determined to destroy it. And much of this is taking place with the assent of Democrats, for a very simple reason: because the name of the game isn’t cleaning up Wall Street, it’s cleaning out Wall Street – throwing a “yes” vote at a bank-approved bill to get them to pony up in an election year. “All this is aimed at the financial services industry,” admits one senior Democratic congressional aide. “It’s to let them know, ‘Hey, you’re OK, we’re not going to destroy your business – and give us your money, because we’re trying to raise it for an election.’”
That’s the underlying problem with cracking down on Wall Street: Our political-economic system has grown too knotted and unmanageable for democratic rule. While it’s incredibly difficult to get a regulatory reform passed, it’s far easier – and more profitable to politicians – to kill it. Creating legislation is a tough process. But watering down legislation? Strangling it with lawsuits and comment letters and blue-ribbon committees? Not so tough, it turns out.
What do you think? Is Taibbi assessing the situation correctly? Let us know in the comments.
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