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

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 [email protected].

[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 [email protected]. 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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