May 19, 2011
The economic collapse of 2008 hit my family and community hard, and we still haven't recovered and donít want it to happen again. Stock prices may be up again and Wall Street may be doing just fine, but the private college where I taught for 33 years had to let employees go, and students who have graduated the last couple of years have found it difficult to find a job. At graduation, most of the students whom I asked about plans said they were looking for a job, not that they had been hired. My brother-in-law lost his home to forclosure, and financial difficulties contributed to his divorce. Local food banks have been swamped with families seeking food since so many people have lost their jobs. Food prices are higher and oil has hit the roof, partly because of speculation, and rural families in my area are finding it hard to pay their bills. Wall Street greed was a major cause of the collapse. American citizens deserve better than unregulated or deregulated banks and Wall Street, a de-regulation that lead to this tragic collapse of our economy and still threatens to do so again. Regulations that were put in place to prevent the collapse of banks after the 1920s collapse were weakened and even discontinued, to disastrous effect. We need these reinstated.
One way to change the incentives so Wall Street doesnít collapse our economy again would be for regulators to set up a way for shareholders to grab back ill-gotten gains. Any bonuses paid to bankers should be delayed for four to five years. If it turns out that the profits in a given year were built on shoddy practices that become clear in the out-years, those bonus payments should be forfeited. At any rate, the bonuses should be reasonable, not thousands of times greater than a regular working American's annual salary!
Thank you for considering my comment,