July 15, 2010


Bill will bring transparency to financial system, help prevent future economic crises

Shaheen fights to make sure reform will not unfairly burden New Hampshire's community banks

(Washington, D.C.)-U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today applauded the final passage of Wall Street reform legislation that will protect families and small businesses by reining in Wall Street's risky practices and holding big banks more accountable. The legislation, which includes important provisions that will prevent taxpayer bailouts of big banks and increase transparency in the financial sector, will now go to President Obama to be signed into law.

"Reckless 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.  "This bill will bring the accountability and transparency we need to the financial sector, protect families and businesses from abusive practices, and prevent taxpayers from having to bail out Wall Street."

The financial collapse caused by Wall Street hurt middle class families and small businesses across New Hampshire, and resulted in the loss of almost 34,000 private sector jobs in the state. The bill will protect families and small businesses by:

  • Preventing taxpayers from having to bail out Wall Street firms by creating an orderly way to liquidate failed firms without using taxpayer money.
  • Preventing financial institutions from making risky side bets for their own profit instead of helping businesses finance their growth plans and families save for their retirement and kids' college educations.
  • Protecting consumers from abusive practices and empowering them to make the right financial choices for their families. 
  • Ensuring that consumers get the information they need in plain English when they shop for mortgages, credit cards, and other financial products.
  • Closing loopholes and bringing transparency to the shadowy derivatives and commodities futures markets.
  • Stopping Wall Street firms from growing so big and so interconnected that they can threaten our entire economy. 

Shaheen worked in a bipartisan fashion to make sure Wall Street reform will not unfairly burden New Hampshire's community banks.  Shaheen fought for inclusion of community bank protection measures in the final legislation that will:

  • Ensure big banks are required to pay their fair share for federal bank insurance and lower assessments for community banks.
  • Eliminate the unnecessary, burdensome requirement that community banks and credit unions collect and report data about their depositors.

"Community banks did not cause the financial crisis and they should not have to pay for Wall Street's reckless conduct," said Shaheen. "By making sure community banks won't have to pay for Wall Street's mistakes, they will be able to continue providing services critical to local economies by extending credit to small businesses and home and consumer loans to families."

Shaheen cosponsored several other measures included in the final bill, including a provision to ensure that taxpayers will never have to bail out Wall Street banks, a long held position by Shaheen who voted against the bank bailout in 2009.

In addition, Shaheen supported measures to give consumers free access to their credit score once per year, and to audit the Federal Reserve to ensure full transparency and accountability of all emergency actions taken by the Fed since December 1, 2007.

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