The Finance 202: Democrats are more divided than ever over Wall Street regulations
To understand where the debate over financial regulation stands today, it helps to rewind the clock.
Two years and two weeks ago, Hillary Clinton delivered a speech on New York’s Roosevelt Island that formally launched her presidential bid. The address was heavy on personal biography, but it also nodded toward the policy themes she’d develop over the campaign. The GOP hopefuls already crowding the race, she said, “pledge to wipe out tough rules on Wall Street, rather than rein in the banks that are still too risky, courting future failures in a case that can only be considered mass amnesia.”
Three days later, Donald Trump elbowed his way into the Republican field. And over the next several months, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would rise from a gadfly to a serious threat to Clinton’s once-assumed coronation. Both outsiders were born aloft by twin engines of anti-establishment animus rumbling out on the parties’ wings.
Clinton went on to flesh out a program that in any other campaign would be considered notably strict on the financial industry. She advocated extending regulation to the world of so-called shadow banking by big insurance companies and hedge funds. She called for imposing a new “risk fee” on the biggest banks; raising taxes on activist investors and high-frequency traders; tightening the Volcker Rule; curbing executive compensation on Wall Street; and creating new tools for regulators and prosecutors to hold individual wrongdoers accountable.