“False security is no security at all,” writes the Wisconsin senator, who says he will not vote for the financial reform bill because it would not prevent another meltdown and “has Wall Street’s fingerprints all over it.” According to Feingold, “the administration and conference leaders have gone to significant lengths to avoid making the bill stronger.”
Feingold, one of a handful of senators to vote against the deregulation of Wall Street in the 1990s, writes of his colleagues, “I don’t need to be lectured about this issue by people who supported the repeal of Glass-Steagall, [the law whose elimination] paved the way for this terrible recession.” —PZS
Since the Senate bill passed, I have had a number of conversations with key members of the administration, Senate leadership and the conference committee that drafted the final bill. Unfortunately, not once has anyone suggested in those conversations the possibility of strengthening the bill to address my concerns and win my support. People want my vote, but they want it for a bill that, while including some positive provisions, has Wall Street’s fingerprints all over it.
In fact, reports indicate that the administration and conference leaders have gone to significant lengths to avoid making the bill stronger. Rather than discussing with me ways to strengthen the bill, for example, they chose to eliminate a levy that was to be imposed on the largest banks and hedge funds in order to obtain the vote of members who prefer a weaker bill. Nothing could be more revealing of the true position of those who are crafting this legislation. They had a choice between pursuing a weaker bill or a stronger one. Their decision is clear.
On this bill, like the others that preceded it, the biggest financial interests have won.