What You Can Do To Bring Wall Street Under Control

The most important remaining battle to rein in Wall Street is over Senator Blanche Lincoln’s measure to stop the big banks from being subsidized by taxpayers for their risky derivative trades. Miraculously, it’s still in the bill but it’s on life support. The bill has now gone to the conference committee where differences between the House and Senate bills are to be ironed out.

But official Washington (read: dependent on Wall Street for money) is dead set against it. Even Barney Frank — who Massachusetts voters used to consider a reliable progressive until he became chair of the House Financial Services Committee — has vowed to kill Lincoln’s provision. And the White House says the measure is “not core,” which in Washington-lingo means “you’re free to dump it.”

Big, big money is at stake.  Wall Street’s five largest banks have a corner on the trade, raking in about in about $30 billion in over-the-counter derivatives last year. It’s the single largest reason they’re too big to fail. So they’re spending like mad on Washington lobbyists and campaign donations in order to keep the subsidy in place. (Lincoln’s provision doesn’t force them to give up derivative trading, by the way; it only forces them to do it in a separate entity that doesn’t get subsidized by deposit insurance or the Fed’s discount window).

All the guns are aimed at this measure. But it’s still possible that the people can prevail, if we’re organized and active. Here’s a list of all the Dems on the Senate Banking and House Finance Committee, as well as Republican conferees. All conferees are indicated by ->.

Organize and mobilize your friends and acquaintances, especially those who live in these states or districts, to call their members and make their voices heard. Tell them you want Lincoln’s measure (Section 716 of the Senate bill) to remain in the final bill. Say you’ll hold them responsible if it goes.

Alabama -> Senator Richard C. Shelby (202) 224-5744

Arkansas -> Senator Blanche Lincoln (202) 224-4843

California -> Rep. Maxine Waters (202) 225-2201 (California-11)
Rep. Brad Sherman, CA (202) 225-5911
Rep. Jackie Speier, CA (202) 225-3531
Rep. Joe Baca, CA (202)225-6161

Colorado -> Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) (202) 224-5852
Rep. Ed Perlmutter, CO 202.225.2645

Connecticut -> Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) (202) 224-2823
Rep. Jim Himes, CT (202) 225-5541

Florida -> Rep. Ron Klein, FL (202) 225.3026
Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, FL (202) 225-2706
Rep. Alan Grayson, FL (202) 225-2176

Georgia -> Senator Saxby Chambliss 202-224-3521
Rep. David Scott, GA (202) 225-2939

Hawaii -> Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) (202) 224-6361

Idaho -> Senator Mike Crapo (202) 224-6142
Rep. Walt Minnick, ID (202) 225-6611

Illinois -> Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (202) 225-8203 (Illinois-4)
Rep. Melissa L. Bean, IL (202) 225-3711
Rep. Bill Foster, IL (202) 225-2976

Iowa -> Senator Tom Harkin (202) 224-3254

Indiana -> Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) (202) 224-5623
Rep. Joe Donnelly, IN (202) 225-3915
Rep. Andre Carson, IN 202-225-4011

Kansas -> Rep. Dennis Moore (202) 225-2865 (Kansas-3)

Massachusetts -> Chairman Barney Frank (202) 225-5931 (Massachusetts-4)
Rep. Michael E. Capuano, MA (202) 225-5111
Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, MA (202) 225-8273

Minnesota -> Rep. Keith Ellison, MN (202) 225-4755

Mississippi -> Rep. Travis Childers, MS (202) 225-4306

Missouri -> Rep. Gary Peters, MI (202) 225-5802

Montana -> Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) (202) 224-2644
Rep. William Lacy Clay, MO (202) 225-2406
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, MO 202.225.4535

New Jersey -> Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) (202) 224-4744
Rep. John Adler, NJ (202) 225-4765
Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ) (R) (202) 225-4465

New Hampshire -> Senator Judd Gregg (202) 224-3324
Rep. Paul W. Hodes, NH (202) 225-5206

New York -> Senator Charles E. Schumer (202) 224-6542
Rep. Gregory W. Meeks 202/225-3461 (New York-6)
Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez, NY (202) 225-2361
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, NY (202) 225-5516
Rep. Dan Maffei, NY (202) 225-3701

North Carolina -> Rep. Melvin L. Watt (202) 225-1510 (North Carolina-12)
Rep. Brad Miller, NC (202) 225-3032

Ohio -> Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) (202) 224-2315
Rep. Charles Wilson, OH (202) 225-5705
Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, OH (202) 225-2015
Rep. Steve Driehaus, OH (513) 684-2723

Oregon -> Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) (202) 224-3753

Pennsylvania -> Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski (202) 225-6511 (Pennsylvania-11)

South Dakota -> Senator Tim Johnson (202) 224-5842

Tennessee -> Senator Bob Corker (202) 224-3344

Texas -> Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, TX (202) 225-2531
Rep. Al Green, TX (202) 225-7508
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX) (R) (202) 225-3484

Wisconsin -> Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) (202) 224-5653
Rep. Gwen Moore, WI 202-225-4572

Vermont -> Senator Patrick J. Leahy (202) 224-4242

Virginia -> Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) (202) 224-2023

About Robert Reich 545 Articles

Robert Reich is the nation's 22nd Secretary of Labor and a professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

He has served as labor secretary in the Clinton administration, as an assistant to the solicitor general in the Ford administration and as head of the Federal Trade Commission's policy planning staff during the Carter administration.

He has written eleven books, including The Work of Nations, which has been translated into 22 languages; the best-sellers The Future of Success and Locked in the Cabinet, and his most recent book, Supercapitalism. His articles have appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Mr. Reich is co-founding editor of The American Prospect magazine. His weekly commentaries on public radio’s "Marketplace" are heard by nearly five million people.

In 2003, Mr. Reich was awarded the prestigious Vaclev Havel Foundation Prize, by the former Czech president, for his pioneering work in economic and social thought. In 2005, his play, Public Exposure, broke box office records at its world premiere on Cape Cod.

Mr. Reich has been a member of the faculties of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and of Brandeis University. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, his M.A. from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and his J.D. from Yale Law School.

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1 Comment on What You Can Do To Bring Wall Street Under Control

  1. Are brokerages spying on – and trading against – their own clients? Read "My Life Versus Mrs. Blankfein's Diamond Earrings" http://wp.me/pVYiX-7

    If you find it intriguing, please pass it on to friends who are politicians, regulators, business leaders, or my fellow journalists.

    Thank you.

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