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Senator Merkley decries last minute “additions” to federal budget approval

Sen. Jeff Merkley D-Oregon

Sen. Jeff Merkley
D-Oregon

Merkley says the rigged big bank Wall Street casino is open again, using taxpayer backed funds – a situation that sparked the worst recession in our nation’s history starting in 2008.

WASHINGTON – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley decries Federal Reserve action to give banks broad exemptions in complying with the Volcker Rule for 2015, and that it is likely to continue those exemptions through January 2017. Merkley said
“The Wall Street Casino is alive and well. Last week it was Congress granting the big banks the right to keep trading on risky derivatives with government (taxpayer) backing. Today it is the Fed making it worse by granting big banks two more years to make big bets through direct ownership of private equity and hedge funds that otherwise would be banned under the Volker Rule.

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“It all amounts to the same thing – spineless giving in to the big banks’ desire to run taxpayer-subsidized hedge funds – funds guaranteed by the taxpayers of the U.S.” Merkley argues that if the banks gamble and win, they keep the payoff. If the banks lose, they get paid a taxpayer guarantee to ensure they don’t lose money. So it’s not really a gamble. They win no matter what. Merkley said “This is wrong for taxpayers and it is wrong for the stability of our banking system. We expect more of the Federal Reserve.”

Merkley is one of the two co-authors of the Volcker Rule, along with retiring Senator Carl Levin (D-MI).

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