One of the principal concerns from the left about Hillary Clinton’s campaign is that she might be overly friendly towards Wall Street. The Democratic presidential hopeful has been going out of her way to put those fears to rest.
Back in April, a week after her campaign announcement, Clinton told an audience she intended to “take a hard look at what is now being done in the trading world, which is just trading for the sake of trading.” That same week, she tapped Gary Gensler, a “former top federal financial regulator and strong advocate for strict Wall Street rules,” to be her campaign’s CFO.
Yesterday, as MSNBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald reported, the Democratic frontrunner “rolled out a comprehensive Wall Street reform plan Thursday promising to crack down on rule breakers in the financial industry and impose new regulations and taxes on large banks to prevent another financial meltdown.”
First, it would punish individuals, not just corporations, that violate the law and make sure they face serious penalties, including imprisonment. It would impose a “risk fee” on riskier bets made by the nation’s largest banks to discourage over-leveraging among “too-big-to-fail” financial institutions. It would also impose stricter regulations on so-called “shadow banking” and impose a tax on high-frequency trading.Clinton also vows to defend the Dodd-Frank financial reform act passed by Congress in the wake of the financial crisis and strengthen to Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, which was championed by Elizabeth Warren before ran for Senate, along with the Securities and Exchange Commission. She would also restore the law’s “swaps push-out” rule, which was removed in a controversial congressional vote last winter. And she would strengthen the so-called Volker Rule, which is meant to prohibit banks from using taxpayer money to make speculative bets.
The entire plan is online at the campaign’s website, and to Clinton’s credit, it’s not brief. It’s also not the sort of thing a candidate who’s overly cozy with Wall Street would propose.
Is Clinton’s plan as ambitious and sweeping as Bernie Sanders’? No. But Vox had an interesting item noting that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) laid out five key policies she believes the next president should embrace as part of financial regulatory reform.
Clinton’s plan is on pretty strong ground on four of the five tenets, and on the fifth – breaking up the biggest banks and creating a new Glass-Steagall Act – she has a different approach that at least takes the underlying concerns seriously.
Expect to hear a lot more about this at next week’s debate.