We Want to Hear From You: How Do You Feel About the Status of U.S. Financial Reform?

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When the Securities and Exchange Commission announced last Friday it was slapping Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS) with fraud charges, Wall Street – facing financial reform – took a big gulp of reality.

Scores of traders hurried to sell off Goldman shares, causing the stock to sharply fall 12.8%.   Meanwhile, spectators on Main Street cheered the thought of a financial giant – that has faced scrutiny for housing market investments, executive bonuses and bailout money – finally having to face the firing squad.   

Money Morning readers' comments clearly expressed their negative feelings toward Wall Street, our government and the SEC: "Crooks, political snakes, fraudsters, soulless and self-interested leaders, running a corrupt nation…"

Question of the Week
The country finds itself at a point when something could actually be done to adjust Wall Street practices and regulation, as a financial reform proposal makes rounds through Congress. So far, the majority of action has been finger pointing: The SEC is too lenient, the government is too ineffectual, and the Wall Street execs are too greedy. But the voters feel they stand to lose the most and are listened to the least.

"We must demand that our legislators change existing laws and regulations to better safeguard our economic future," wrote Money Morning Contributing Editor Shah Gilani. "And we have to make them painfully aware that if we don't get those changes – or if we get changes and unintended, unforeseen consequences arise – lawmakers, presidential administrations and even presidents themselves will be held accountable."

President Barack Obama has said he wants to include parts of the Glass-Steagall Act and Volcker's Plan to tighten regulation on banks and to separate banking and trading practices at large firms, but the current reform bill has some worried that not enough will be done.

As Money Morning Contributing Editor Martin Hutchinson reported, if the bill passes without much opposition, it "should immediately raise our suspicions. After all, the U.S. financial-services business has a very effective lobby, so if there isn't huge opposition to the legislation, it probably won't achieve all that much. It won't fix Wall Street."

That brings us to next week's Money Morning "Question of the Week:" How do you feel about the status of financial reform? Has it gone far enough – will too much regulation crimp our free market system? Or does it need to go much further – and can the powers-that-be create an effective reform proposal?

Send your thoughts, questions and concerns to mailbag@moneymappress.com.

[Editor's Note: Is there a topic you want to see covered as a "Question of the Week" feature? Then let us know by e-mailing Money Morning at mailbag@moneymappress.com. Make sure to reference "question of the week suggestion" in the subject line.

We reserve the right to edit responses for length, grammar and clarity.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to participate - via e-mail or by posting their comments directly on the Money Morning Web site.]

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  1. Lawrence Morris | April 21, 2010

    We need many more rules and regugations.The american finanical system is and always has been corrupt: always a few people with very low esteem for what's right and wrong, profiting by cheating and bending the rules for their own good.The CEO's at AIG and Bank of America need to be prosecuted instead of getting multimillion dollar bonuses.Of course the U.S.Senate[short for the House of Lords] doesn't agree, because they are profitting also.The whole system needs to be changed the" world economy" eliminated and immigration[another exscuse for slave wages] brought to an end.

  2. robert smith | April 21, 2010

    What with the major banks that were "rescued" now showing profits in the Billions of dollars range, It's time for them to begin paying the taxpayers back for the help they received. Otherwise, the inflation rate is going to kill us if they don't!

  3. H U S | April 22, 2010

    It's necessary to really create new finance regulation, where abuse & extreme risk taking can't be placed on the back of the tax payers and working public of the US and other countries. The US had a very sensitive regulation system in place: separation of investment banking from consumer banking … till Phil Gramm and co, with the help of Bill Clinton repealed the Glass-Steagall Act in November 1999 …within 10 years the whole system went "berserk" – but yet nobody in Congres wants to repeal the repeal and put barriers into the broken finance system – thank you GOP & Democrats for doing so much nothing!

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