Casey Chairs Hearing on Wall Street Accountability

PHILADELPHIA, PA – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today chaired a hearing entitled “Bringing Accountability and Transparency to Wall Street” at Drexel University.  At the hearing, Senator Casey heard from witnesses testifying on the immediate need for strong reform to our financial markets.  

“We have to put consumers ahead of profits for the big banks,” said Senator Casey.  “After a global recession and the resulting massive job loss triggered by the irresponsible actions of Wall Street, we must move forward with strong reform of financial markets.  It is important that we are discussing this issue at Drexel.  The reforms we are trying to make to Wall Street are designed to prevent future greed from causing the economic damage we have experienced in the past few years.”

Senator Casey’s witnesses included: Steve Kaplan, Secretary of Banking, Pennsylvania Department of Banking; Professor Jim Sysco, J.D, Business Ethicist Scholar and Assistant Professor of Business, Kings College; Skip Voluntad, Member, Executive Council, Pennsylvania AARP; Dr. Michael Gombola, Professor of Finance, Drexel University and Tracy Levesque, co-owner of YIKES, Inc. which provides original, custom Web solutions for businesses and non-profit organizations.

At the hearing, Senator Casey discussed the Restoring Financial Stability Act of 2010 which includes multiple measures designed to improve accountability, resiliency and transparency in the financial system by:

•    Establishing an early warning system to detect and address emerging threats to financial stability and the economy

•    Enhancing consumer and investor protections

•    Strengthening the supervision of large, complex financial organizations and providing a mechanism to liquidate such companies should they fail without any losses to the taxpayer and

•    Regulating the massive over-the-counter derivatives market.

Over the last two years, 8.4 million Americans, including more than half a million Pennsylvanians, have lost their jobs.  In Pennsylvania, foreclosure filings increased over 38% between January 2009 and January 2010 and were up nearly 6% from December 2009.  Countless small businesses have failed and millions of people have seen their retirement savings evaporate.