The Wall Street Journal reported how some of Wall Street’s biggest banks are working in the shadows to spin their way out of their well-deserved bad reputation. According to the report:
“Top executives from the biggest U.S. banks, concerned about anti-Wall Street rhetoric already bubbling up on the 2016 campaign trail, are working to push back against the prevailing narrative that banks are bad.”
First, the “prevailing narrative” isn’t that “banks are bad.” It’s that Wall Street’s handful of very dangerous too big to fail, too big to manage, too big to jail banks are bad because they crashed the financial system, received bailouts, and aren’t accountability for their reckless and illegal conduct. In fact, it’s a misnomer to call them “banks.” “Gambling dens,” maybe, even “bloated bonus-generation machines,” but not banks. However, that’s a key part of Wall Street’s PR strategy: pretend that Wall Street’s handful of biggest banks are really just like the 6,500 real banks, especially community banks, which almost exclusively finance people and businesses that produce goods and services that people need and want.
Wall Street’s reckless, risky behavior – which caused the worst recession since the Great Depression and cost our economy more than $1.2 trillion – has devastated families and touched every part of the United States and the globe. But – astonishingly – this handful of dangerous, too big to fail banks aren’t planning to improve their reputation by cleaning up their act, stopping their repeated illegal behavior and dedicate themselves to really helping to grow businesses, jobs and the economy. No, their plan is to launch another PR campaign ahead of the next election.
But the polls are clear: Americans still distrust the big banks on Wall Street and strongly support stricter financial reforms to better regulate how they conduct their business. Voters understand that the bad actors on Wall Street are hurting hardworking Americans. Until Wall Street gets serious about genuinely following the law, implementing meaningful reforms, de-risking so that they aren’t a dangerous threat to all Americans, and ending their special interest lobbying, their PR spin campaigns won’t deceive the American people, many of whom are still suffering from the economic wreckage caused by Wall Street.