But Dodd-Frank was neither an FDR-style, paradigm-shifting reform, nor a historic assault on free enterprise. What it was, ultimately, was a cop-out, a Band-Aid on a severed artery. If it marks the end of anything at all, it represents the end of the best opportunity we had to do something real about the criminal hijacking of America’s financial-services industry. During the yearlong legislative battle that forged this bill, Congress took a long, hard look at the shape of the modern American economy – and then decided that it didn’t have the stones to wipe out our country’s one dependably thriving profit center: theft.
That theft was the rigging of the game so garbage securities could be passed off as AAA-rated. This created the real estate bubble which eventually burst and cratered the economy with it, not that the criminals responsible cared about that.
And before lockstep liberals go blaming Bush and Republicans for the whole thing.
It was all made possible by two major deregulatory moves from the Clinton era: the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, which allowed investment banks, insurance companies and commercial banks to merge, and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which exempted the entire derivatives market from federal regulation.
The two corporatist parties, both beholden heavily to Wall Street, are the problem. Not just one party
As for the Democrats pretending to jump on board financial reform when it became obvious the peasants were about to grab pitchforks, well, this perfectly demonstrates what Peter Camejo said in The Avocado Declaration, that the Democratic Party always opposes change, then tries to co-opt it at the last moment, pretending to be the ally of those wanting change.
With voters seething over Wall Street’s rampant thievery and fraud, the Democrats suddenly got religion about reckless gambling by the financial industry.
But they delivered precious little, didn’t they? Sen. Dodd is a snake who isn’t running for reelection because the electorate became sickened by his sleazy financial dealings. Rep. Frank isn’t much better. A somewhat decent bill was gutted and filled with loopholes while these two aided and abetted the process, pretending all the while to be champions of the people.
But then, the Democratic Party has had decades of experience with that kind of deceit and back-stabbing.