Monday, June 21, 2010

Financial Reform Needs Your Help

The New York Times reports that bank lobbyists are working overtime to water down the financial reform bill:
Industry lobbyists — and sympathetic members of Congress — are pushing for provisions to undercut a central pillar of the legislation, known as the Volcker Rule, which would forbid banks from using their own money to make risky wagers on the market and would force them to sell off hedge funds and private equity units.
Thanks to an unusual confluence of events, the bill has gotten stronger as it works its way through the legislative process. But that could change.

Congress is hearing from the banking interests. But you can weigh in as well. A group called
Americans for Fairness in Lending (part of Change.org) has a set up a couple of online petitions. One calls for keeping the bill strong. A second petition targets the auto dealer exemption. Since buying a car is the second largest financing decision most families ever make, it hardly makes sense to exempt auto lending from the overall reform effort.

Amercians for Financial Reform has been working on building and sustaining grassroots support for financial reform. I've sat in on meetings with staffers for Ted Kaufman (who has been a lion on reforming Wall Street) and Mike Castle, who I learned supports the Volcker rule.
Besides signing your name, contacting Carper, Castle and Kaufman directly can help. Tell 'em TommyWonk sent you.

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