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Add bankers to the evil lobby list?

July 16, 2009

The argument for better banking regulation seems pretty clear to me.  Companies charge obscene amounts and then proceed to treat their customers terribly.  We need to protect consumers.  But Bob Herbert’s description of the banking industry’s resistance to regulation shined a new light for me on all of this:

When I think of the banking industry fighting to kill this proposed agency, it brings to mind the decades in which tobacco companies insisted that cigarettes were safe, and those days long ago when the auto companies fought against seat belts, and all the dopey arguments that were made against protecting the public from unsafe drugs and kitchen appliances that might burst into flames, and so on.

The list of industries fighting regulation right now, regulation we desperately need, happens to hold some significant players in our daily lives.  Bankers (enough said), health insurers fighting the public option our country desperately needs, agricultural mega-firms fighting attempts to limit the amounts of anti-biotics given to healthy animals, the list goes on.  But what makes this list frightening, other than the sheer importance of many of these issues on the quality of life in America, is how quickly congress has been kowtowing to these interest groups.  One can only hope that enough members of the House grow a spine and do the right thing, but constituent letter/email/phone-call campaigns don’t carry the same clout as mega-donors…

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