Economics & Finance
May Fri 18, 2012
“President Obama’s declarations are just words. His statements on the need for reform on Wall Street are not credible. In 2008, his campaign received funds from the finance industry and they will receive funds again this year. In terms of actions, the Democratic president is no different from Mitt Romney." These were the words of William Jesse, spokesman for the movement Occupy Wall Street, which has been protesting against the excessive power of the U.S. financial lobby for months. Ilsussidiario.net asked him to comment in the wake of the news that the losses at JPMorgan from excessively risky bets, estimated at $2 billion, had increased in recent days by 50% to $3 billion. President Obama, in response to this discovery, intends to introduce a strict application of the Volcker Rule, the rule not yet in force that prohibits speculative investment on the part of banks.Do you agree with President Obama on the need for a Wall Street reform or not?I agree that Wall Street needs to be reformed, though I am not sure I agree with what Obama is proposing. We need to go to a system that works for everybody and is not unstable. As you can see from the recent events with JP Morgan, it is not a stable system.How is it possible to create a stable system?A stable system would be one where, for example, there is a lot more regulation on financial transactions, and it needs to be a system that favors the average person and not just investors and corporations. It needs to be a system where, if companies take too much risk, the public is not responsible for saving them.How strong is the opposition of the Wall Street lobbies against any kind of reform?They are a very powerful opposition. Not only do they lobby, and support politicians through campaign donations, but they hold positions in the executive branch of the government, and so they are influential in many ways. A lot of the policies we see are because of their influence. I think they take policy making very seriously.The Wall Street reform was one of Obama’s signature domestic policies. Do you think that it has not been implemented because he did not really want to do it, or because the opposition was too strong?
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