House Votes to Protect Citigroup if It Gambles and Loses…(Facism In Your Face!!)
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
One of the nation’s leading banks wants Congress to amend federal law adopted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis so it and other Wall Street institutions can go back to gambling with risky investments and have taxpayers cover the losses again if they bet wrong.
Under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 (pdf), banks can no longer use monies backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to invest in high-risk derivatives, such as “swaps.” This prohibition was adopted because derivatives crippled numerous key players on Wall Street five years ago, including Countrywide Mortgages, Bear Stearns, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, Wachovia and others.
One of those “others” was Citigroup, which had to be bailed out by the federal government to the tune of $45 billion. A Citigroup lobbyist, though, was primarily responsible for authoring the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act, which was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives two weeks ago.
The bill would wipe out Section 716 (pdf) of Dodd-Frank that requires banks to use a non-bank entity for trading commodity, energy and other swaps. In other words, if the legislation becomes law, financial institutions could return to conducting high-risk trading with funds that are backed by the FDIC (i.e. the taxpayer).
Dennis Anderson, who’s running for Congress from Illinois, says “to propose an easing of the controls on such behavior is irresponsible.”