Tester outlines priorities for reforming Wall Street

Senator tells top financial supervisor he will be ‘on the side of common sense reform’

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Overhauling the rules on Wall Street must create a level playing field for middle-class Montanans, small businesses and community banks, Senator Jon Tester today told one of America’s top financial supervisors.

As a member of the Senate Banking Committee, Tester will help craft sweeping plans in the coming weeks to “keep crooks off Wall Street” and to help rebuild the U.S. economy by reforming the financial services industry.

Tester today met with Sheila Bair, the chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC).  The FDIC is a federal agency that guarantees the safety of most bank deposits.

Tester invited Bair to his office this afternoon to discuss some of his concerns about the future of Wall Street and reforming the rules so that they “work for ordinary Montanans.”

“Our economy went into the tank because there were no refs on the field while a few bad actors took advantage of the system, and hardworking taxpayers had to come to the rescue,” said Tester, the only Senate Democrat to vote against last year’s bailouts of Wall Street and the U.S. automotive industry.  “As we move forward with rewriting the rules, I’m going to be on the side of common sense reform to protect folks and bring back investor confidence.”

During today’s meeting, Tester also discussed his priorities for reforming Wall Street.  He wants to make sure:

  • Congress prevents the abuses that led to last year’s collapse of Wall Street, so that it won’t happen again;
  • Congress regulates derivatives that led to the failure of Wall Street;
  • A level playing field exists for all financial companies to ensure they follow the same rules;
  • Ordinary consumers and small businesses benefit from reform, not “too-big-to-fail” investment banks on Wall Street;
  • Community banks and credit unions aren’t punished for abuses that led to the failure of Wall Street.  Tester noted none of Montana’s community banks closed as a result of the collapse of Wall Street.