The Myth of Financial Reform

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from TIME Magazine,

Five years after the crisis, growth is back, but risks remain. What’s needed to finish the job and keep your money safe.

Five years on from the financial crisis, the disaster that was Lehman Brothers and its brutal, economy-shredding aftermath can seem a distant memory. We’re out of the Great Recession, and growth is finally back. The Obama Administration, which is pushing hard to complete the new financial rules mandated by the Dodd-Frank reform act deserves credit for making our financial system safe–or that’s the line being tossed around by current and past members of the crisis team.

But amid all the backslapping, a larger truth is being lost. The financialization of the American economy, a process by which we’ve become inexorably embedded in Wall Street, just keeps rolling on. The biggest banks in the country are larger and more powerful than they were before the crisis, and finance is a greater percentage of our economy than ever.

The truth is, Washington did a great job saving the banking system in ’08 and ’09 with swift bailouts that averted even worse damage to the economy. But swayed too much by aggressive bank lobbying, it has done a terrible job of reregulating the financial industry and reconnecting it to the real economy. Here are five things that are still badly needed to reduce the risks for everyone.

1. Fix the Too-Big-To-Fail Problem

2. Limit the Leverage

3.Expose weapons of mass financial destruction

Bring shadow banking into the light

Reboot the culture of finance

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