By Hillary Clinton
Seven years after the financial crash, despite important new rules signed into law by President Barack Obama, there are risks in our financial system that could still cause another crisis. Banks have paid billions of dollars in fines, but few executives have been held personally accountable. “Too big to fail” is still too big a problem. Regulators don’t have all the tools and support they need to protect our economy. To prevent irresponsible behavior on Wall Street from ever again devastating Main Street, we need more accountability, tougher rules and stronger enforcement. I have a plan to build on the progress we’ve made under President Obama and do just that.
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In the years before the crash, as financial firms piled risk upon risk, regulators in Washington either couldn’t or wouldn’t keep up. Top regulators under President George W. Bush posed for a picture literally taking a chain saw to banking rules. Before the crisis hit, as a senator from New York, I was alarmed by this gathering storm, and called for addressing the risks of derivatives, cracking down on abusive subprime mortgages and improving financial oversight. Unfortunately, the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress largely ignored calls for reform. The result cost 9 million Americans their jobs, drove 5 million families out of their homes and wiped out more than $13 trillion in household wealth.
Thanks to President Obama’s leadership and the determination and sacrifice of the American people, we’ve worked our way out of that ditch and put our economy on sounder footing. Now we have to keep going.