New York Times Nails the Big Financial Reform Issues

A lead editorial by the New York Times on May 5, 2010 parallels arguments made by the Center for Media and Democracy's "Real Economy Project" and publishers of BanksterUSA on the necessity of shrinking the "Too Big to Fail" firms and cracking down on the gambling in the derivatives market. True leadership in the aftermath of Wall Street's reckless disregard for our country's economic future requires tough reforms, not watered-down compromises in the name of "bipartisanship." With all the misinformation out there about who is really on the side of the American people and who is in the pocket of the Big Banks, now is the time for clarity, not for the sake of political expediency, but because the flawed de-regulation and market-knows-best policies of the recent past must be put in check for the health of our economic opportunities and for our nation's future prosperity.

The Times clearly sets forth the case for immediate efforts to cut the banks down to size, so that their failures will not be able to sink our economy. The paper endorses specific improvements we have been calling for, noting that "Democrats Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Ted Kaufman of Delaware propose size caps on banks that include limiting non-deposit liabilities to no more than 2 percent of gross domestic product. That would provide a necessary backstop against bailouts and decrease the political power of banks." Especially with the proliferation of industry-funded front groups that CMD has documented which claim to stand with the American people in opposing reforms, as the Times states, "the public needs to know who stands where on the most important reform issues." To which we say, hear hear!

Mary Bottari

Mary Bottari is a reporter for the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). She helped launch CMD's award-winning ALEC Exposed investigation and is a two-time recipient of the Sidney Prize for public interest journalism from the Sidney Hillman Foundation.