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The same Washington spinsters who have driven our country into the ground seemed to be out in full force on Friday, claiming that their latest policy "victory" is the most "sweeping change" of our financial regulatory since the Great Depression. Actually, it is nothing more than window dressing. The real sweeping change of our financial system took place over the past 20 years. The irresponsible repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999. The Commodities and Futures Modernization Act of 2000 by Larry Summers and Bob Rubin -- the one that legalized the most destructive financial instruments of all, derivatives. The leverage exemption at the SEC in 2004, asked for (in person) and received by Hank Paulson and friends.
What's not fixed? - The Cops (regulators and ratings agencies) working for the crooks. - Banks still Too Big To Fail. - Banks gambling with your deposits. - Banks allowed to "mark to myth" and use off-balance sheet accounting to bonus themselves into the atmosphere, with the taxpayer taking the fall. - Banks getting trillions from the Fed, Fannie and Freddie -- AKA you, the future and present taxpayer. What does it mean for us? It means that the same people who brought you these horrible changes -- rising wealth discrepancy, massive unemployment and a crumbling infrastructure -- have now further institutionalized the policies that will keep the causes of these problems firmly in place.
Senate negotiators also announced they were carving out a class of financial institutions from the restrictions. The most immediate beneficiaries are State Street Corp., the nation's 19th-largest bank with $153 billion in assets, and BNY Mellon, the nation's 13th-largest bank with $221 billion in assets. The exemptions were granted to secure the support of Brown, the Senator from Massachusetts. That loophole survived.