Why Do Republicans Want to Unregulate Wall Street?

I understand why Republicans want to repeal Obamacare. I understand why they want to cut taxes on the rich. I understand why they want to slash social welfare programs for the poor. I may not like it, but I mostly understand it.

But why do they want to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill? Their base doesn’t care about it. The banking industry is fighting over the details but seems mostly willing to live with it. Credit unions and small banks want relief from certain parts of the law, but that’s a fairly limited thing.

So what’s the point? Republicans would like to get rid of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau because they historically hate consumer protection. That much I get. But why get rid of OLA, the provision that helps regulators perform an orderly liquidation of a big bank like Lehman Brothers? Why get rid of the provision that allows extra scrutiny and tighter rules for “systemically important” banks? Why exactly are Republicans opposed to that?

I’m sort of mystified about this. I mean, sure, these provisions are (a) regulations, (b) Democratic regulations, and (c) Democratic regulations on rich people. I guess that’s enough. But who’s pressing them on this stuff? It’s crazy on the face of it. The 2008 meltdown happened less than a decade ago. Why would even a Republican be opposed to raising capital requirements on big banks and insisting that the financial industry pay for any future bailouts?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate