Wall Street Reform: Traditional Foes Join Forces To Take On Bankers
Ryan Grim (email@example.com)
On Thursday evening, a roomful of people more accustomed to fighting each other met to unite against a common enemy: Wall Street.
The forces that are gathering against the bankers include energy companies, airlines, truckers, farmers and other end users of derivatives, along with unions, consumer advocates and a host of progressive organizations.
"I can't think of anything where such a diverse group has come together. Some of these organizations don't see eye to eye on other issues," said Jim Collura, a lobbyist with the New England Fuel Institute and a lead organizer behind the Commodity Markets Oversight Coalition (CMOC), which includes end users of derivatives such as corn or gas futures. The businesses rely on futures contracts to hedge against the risk of price spikes or declines.
A senior administration official who addressed the coalition partners at the meeting would have been considered just as unlikely a bedfellow a year ago. Gary Gensler, now the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), spent nine years with Goldman Sachs and, as a Treasury official in the '90s, pushed the type of deregulation that contributed to wild speculation in derivatives and helped bring about the financial collapse. For those sins, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) put a hold on his nomination to the CFTC. He eventually let him move through, convinced that Gensler had seen the error of his ways. more