Public Citizen – Merry Christmas For You

This Christmas and New Years give yourself a gift – Your Country!
That’s right take it back!
Here’s the plea and how you can help.

Banks Bundled Bad Debt, Bet Against It and WonAre you Outraged yet?

Dear Friends,
In Japan, they know the meaning of shame. Citigroup does wrong in Japan, and the CEO is forced to make a public bow of apology. In the United States, when Citigroup does wrong, there’s no apology – just subsidies, bailouts and bonuses.

Indeed, one year after it crashed the global economy, drained people’s pensions and retirement savings, and threw millions out of work, Wall Street is back to business as usual – in Washington and Manhattan.

One group is leading the charge against Wall Street, issuing a clarion call to rein in the banksters. That group is Public Citizen.

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442 days.

That’s how long it took after the collapse of Lehman Brothers before the House of Representatives passed some financial reform legislation.

It’s still pending in the Senate. The long delay between the onset of the financial crisis and Congressional movement toward passage of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 did not well serve the cause of reform.

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First, the Good News.

Thanks in no small part to the work of Public Citizen, the bill would set up a consumer financial watchdog agency.

Wall Street said it wanted to “kill” – their words – the agency. Public Citizen was here to say, “no way.”

Public Citizen experts made the case for the agency and they went after Wall Street lackeys, like Representative Melissa Bean (D-Illinois), who tried, unsuccessfully, to defeat or weaken the agency beyond recognition.

If passed by the Senate, the agency will prevent predatory mortgages, rip-off overdraft fees, fine-print bank billing tricks and complicated loan terms designed to deceive.

But besides the consumer watchdog, which we hope will be headed by the magnificent Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren, the bill will be little more than an annoyance to Wall Street.

That’s because the bill fails utterly to address the structural problems that led to the financial crisis. As the financial regulation debate moves to the Senate, no one is better positioned to fix these problems than Public Citizen.

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Here the Public Citizen Plan.

Step one: Break up the banks. It’s that simple. The banks are too big to fail,  make them smaller, make sure that the commercial banks where you maintain your checking accounts are separated from the investment banks that gamble on Wall Street.

Step two: Crack down on derivatives, which Warren Buffett called “financial weapons of mass destruction.”
Ban exotic financial instruments that are too dangerous. Make purveyors of new derivatives prove they are safe and subject whatever is permitted to stringent controls.

Step three: Rein in executive pay and end Wall Street’s ruinous bonus culture.

Wall Street aims to pay tens of billions of dollars in bonuses – in the same year it has received trillions of dollars in public support.

Really?

YES!

Then slap a windfall tax on the bonuses. Public Citizen called for it, and the United Kingdom is now doing it. Washington can follow and the bonuses that are paid should only be a reward for long-term success by companies or divisions in companies.

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The Purpose of Public Citizen

The idea behind Public Citizen has always been to create a base of talented advocates who could read convoluted legislation and regulations, translate technical language into everyday English and highlight corporate abuses; use the media to get the word out; petition, lobby, litigate and agitate; and mobilize the public around proposals to advance health, safety, justice and democracy. All to go toe-to-toe with corporate power and WIN.

For almost four decades, that’s what Public Citizen has done. Like no one else in Washington. Now they are ready to take on Wall Street and WIN!

You can count on Public Citizen to name names. They will connect Wall Street campaign contributions to their Congressional allies’ fake solutions. They will lay out a hard-hitting agenda to reduce Wall Street’s power and with your help they will organize the populist rage needed to impose new rules on Wall Street.

With the House of Representatives finally passing its financial reform bill earlier this month, the whole legislative package moves to the Senate. Where it will very quickly move to the front burner in early 2010. There’s no time to delay.

Together, we do have the power to defeat the corruption on Wall Street.

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I urge you to make a contribution before the end of the year to support Public Citizen’s Campaign to help in Wall Street.

Please make your contribution of $25, $50, $100, $500 – or whatever you can afford, even if it is One Single Dollar.

Contribute before midnight, December 31, and your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a small group of committed Public Citizen donors – up to $100,000! Please help Public Citizen reach this target.

Most of all help spread the word.

Help take your country back.

Every Effort Does Make a Difference.

Onward to Justice!

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Links To and About the Financial Crisis
US Indentured Slavery

S-604 Federal Reserve Aunshine Act of 2009

Utter Fraud

Financial Suicide Bombers

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2 Comments

Filed under business, congress, great Ideas, justice, nader, News, obama, politics, social epistemology, SPREAD IT!, take back your country

2 responses to “Public Citizen – Merry Christmas For You

  1. StalkerOfNalts

    Sorry, I can’t support this group. Even supposing I completely agreed with all of the steps outlined above (good idea, questionable approach), this is just a small part of what Public Citizen is involved in.

    I’ve glanced at some of their other divisions and found their approach to most issues is remarkably unbalanced (and quite condescending) and usually disposed to be excessively over-regulatory.

    If you find yourself agreeing with this group on almost all of the areas they are involved in and don’t mind giving the government more and more legislative control, go ahead and support this group, but do your research first.

    Personally, I find their energy policies particularly repugnant, but you may not.

    Recap: Choose who you support carefully and be an informed contributer.

  2. Lynnette Bieri

    It is great that you took your time to write all this up; it’s nice to hear another’s point of view. I appreciate your work on this page, and I’ll return for more information.

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