To the editor:
Financial regulators were warned by the FBI in September 2004 that rampant fraud in the mortgage industry could cause multibillion-dollar losses to financial institutions. Regulators ignored the warning with the result being the Great Recession. Now, the governor of the Bank of England has cautioned that the world is possibly facing the worst economic crisis in history.
Congress must pass strong regulations that will prevent future financial misconduct by Wall Street bankers and speculators. Unfortunately, this is not likely to happen because of the influence of political campaign contributions by corporations and billionaires.
Getting rid of the influence of large contributions, big money bundlers and contributions by lobbyists is possible. However, true campaign finance reform will require a broad-based mass movement demanding a law similar to the Fair Elections Now Act (S. 750, H.R. 1404). Under this bill, candidates would raise a large number of small contributions (limited to $100) from their communities in order to quality for Fair Elections matching funds. Until there is real campaign finance reform, Main Street and ordinary Americans will continue to be hurt by Wall Street.