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Treasury Notes

 The State of Wall Street Reform

By: Erika Gudmundson

Yesterday afternoon, on the heels of the first Financial Stability Oversight Council meeting of 2012, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner previewed detailed the progress made to date and outlined priorities and challenges for the year ahead in financial reform. As Secretary Geithner noted yesterday, these reforms are tough where they need to be tough and when fully implemented, they will leave our financial system safer, stronger, and more resilient. Yet, opponents are trying to weaken these reforms by cutting proposed funding, blocking key appointments, and introducing legislation to repeal the law or slow the pace of implementation in the hopes of watering it down. To these claims, Secretary Geithner said:

“I would say remember 2008, 2009. Remember the fact that the reason why we’re living with very high unemployment, with millions of Americans having lost their homes, terrible damage to the basic economic security of Americans is because of the failures that caused this crisis in the financial system and if you want to go back to that and you want to choose that future, then you should be in favor of repeal of the law.

“There is no credible evidence to support the argument that these reforms are having a material negative effect on the ability of the economy to recover and grow. In fact, the evidence is overwhelmingly the opposite because even though, again, these are tough reforms where they have to be tough, if you look at almost any measure except for the pockets I referred to in housing finance and some small businesses, which are not about reform, the broad measures of the ability of the system to help recovery look pretty good and that would not be true if we had not moved so quickly to not just restructure the system but make sure it runs with more capital.”

Watch a video of Secretary Geithner’s remarks and his Q&A.

Erika Gudmundson is New Media Specialist at the Department of the Treasury.

Posted in:  Wall Street Reform
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