MASSPIRG urges Senator Brown to vote for Wall Street Reform

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Elizabeth Weyant

Statement of Lizzi Weyant, MASSPIRG Staff Attorney


We are here today to urge Congress to pass the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act approved last Friday in Conference Committee.

My name is Lizzi Weyant and I am the Staff Attorney at MASSPIRG.  MASSPIRG is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy group with members across the state.  I am joined by members of the Massachusetts delegation of Americans for Financial Reform, who will offer remarks in a moment.

A recent article in the Boston Globe stated that Senator Brown plans to vote against the historic Wall Street reform legislation aimed at reining in Wall Street’s reckless behavior.  But according to Pew Trusts, it was this reckless behavior that caused the American people to take an economic hit of $648 billion in lost economic activity, jobs, retirement income, and home income.  The total cost of this bill over five years is $19 billion in fees on only the largest banks who caused this crisis.  That number is equal to just one year’s Wall Street bonus pool.  To claim, as Senator Brown does, that this cost will impact consumers in higher bank fees or interest rates is a sham.

We are here today to send one message: A vote against Wall Street reform is a vote for big banks.  A vote against Wall Street Reform is a vote against Main Street.

Reforms that were put into place after the Great Depression protected the public for more than 50 years.  But in the wake of the biggest financial collapse since 1929, public officials like Senator Brown are trying to quash reforms. But more than ever, the American public needs confidence in the financial markets to help economic recovery.

This bill reins in the casino economy created by Wall Street banks, protects consumers and small investors from unfair and predatory practices, enhances regulatory authority over shadow markets, eliminates conflicts of interest, and imposes requirements on the financial marketplace that will help guarantee that taxpayers will never again be asked to bail out the big banks and other financial firms.