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Wall Street reform would protect consumers, increase accountability and transparency

(Manchester, N.H.)-U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today discussed the need to pass Wall Street reform legislation to protect families and small businesses by holding big banks accountable for their risky decisions and preventing future financial collapse. Shaheen was joined for a press conference at Cobb Hill Construction in Concord today by Cobb Hill Owner Tom Avallone, whose business has slumped since commercial and residential buyers of their services aren't able to access the financing they need to move forward with building projects; Michelle Griggs of Milford, whose husband lost his job and is now at risk of losing her home; and Robert Gott of Milford, whose 401K declined significantly due to the financial crisis.

"Reckless and risky Wall Street conduct brought the economy to its knees, and people in New Hampshire and across the country are still suffering the consequences," said Shaheen.  "We need to do everything we can to hold Wall Street accountable and protect the hard working people of our state from being put in these impossible positions again."

Almost 34,000 private sector jobs were lost in New Hampshire alone, and millions of hard working Americans across the country lost their jobs in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Thousands of New Hampshire families have seen the equity in their homes vanish.  The average home value in New Hampshire has declined over 15 percent, and New Hampshire families are losing their homes in record numbers.

Shaheen believes that Wall Street reform legislation must:

  • Close loopholes and bring transparency to the shadowy derivatives markets where Wall Street executives make gambles and get all the upside and American families get all the downside.
  • Prevent financial institutions from making risky side bets for their own profit when what they are supposed to be doing is helping businesses finance their growth plans and families save for their retirement and kids' college educations.
  • Ensure that taxpayers will never again be forced to bailout reckless Wall Street firms by creating an orderly way to liquidate failed firms without using taxpayer money.
  • Create a consumer financial protection agency with broad authority to monitor firms for abusive practices, intervene as needed to protect consumers, and help empower consumers to make the right financial choices for their families.
  • Stop Wall Street firms from being so big and interconnected that their failure can threaten our entire economy.