Thursday, September 22, 2011


Three years ago this week, the financial crisis began in earnest with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the $85 billion bailout of mega-insurer American International Group. However, during Monday night’s GOP presidential primary debate, the candidates proved that they have no interest in learning the lessons of that crisis, as they called for the repeal of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law in order to “free up” Wall Street.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) bragged that night about being the lead author of the Dodd-Frank repeal legislation. And during a campaign stop in southern California yesterday, Bachmann explained her rationale:

"And not only repealing Obamacare, also repealing Dodd-Frank, which is killing the banking industry. I’ve got the bill to repeal both of them."

Some banks would be surprised to learn that they are on the verge of death, as they keep on reporting record profits. As ThinkProgress’ Alex Seitz-Wald noted when Newt Gingrich claimed that the banking industry was being killed by Dodd-Frank, “‘bank profits rose substantially‘ in the first quarter of the year, with banks showing the biggest profits since before the recession. Things were sunny in the second quarter as well”:

– Profits at JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s second largest bank, were up 13 percent.
– Third-largest Citigroup’s profits soared 23 percent.
– Fourth-largest Wells Fargo’s profits shot up 29 percent.
– Fifth-largest Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, “disappointed investors” when it merely “more than doubled its profits.”
–Sixth-largest Morgan Stanley’s profits were up an impressive 17 percent.

JP Morgan Chase, in fact, is posting record profits. But three years after Wall Street caused the financial crisis, and with banks back to reaping profits, Bachmann and the GOP feel that its financial reform that merits doing away with.

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