The costs of the Wall Street-created financial collapse and economic crisis have been enormous. Literally trillions of dollars have been spent, lent, pledged, guaranteed or otherwise used to bail out Wall Street, to stop the collapse of the financial system and to prevent a second Great Depression. Sadly, many of those costs continue to this day, including almost 10 million Americans unemployed, almost 15 million working part time who want to work full time, millions more who have given up looking for work after years of frustration, millions foreclosed upon and so much more human wreckage across the country.
These quantifiable costs of the financial crisis also have devastating costs that cannot be quantified, including tragically a significant loss of hope and belief in the American Dream, as recently reported here.
Attached is a comprehensive analysis of five major indicators or measures of the costs of the financial crisis that began in 2008 and continue to this day: gross domestic product, unemployment, government bailouts, lost household wealth and human suffering. While it is is impossible to quantify all of the consequences of crisis, this analysis provides a detailed review of the widespread suffering and hardship that American families have had to endure as of a result of Wall Street’s unregulated recklessness and greed.
This analysis will also be part of a forthcoming Better Markets Report called “Setting the Record Straight on Cost Benefit Analysis and Financial Reform at the SEC.” In essence, the report will expose Wall Street’s attempt to kill financial reform by claiming the costs of regulation to it are too much, rather than counting all the costs that Wall Street’s reckless gambling has already caused and continues to cause to Main Street. Of course, those costs were imposed on Main Street because Wall Street was unregulated, which is why it was able to take such risks and threaten the financial system of the United States and the country’s very economic system.
So, yes, re-regulating Wall Street is going to cost Wall Street a lot of money, but it is no where near the costs, including extensive human pain and suffering, inflicted on the American people by Wall Street. Avoiding those costs from ever being shifted to taxpayers again is the goal and benefit of financial reform, which by any unbiased measure vastly outweighs any costs industry has to incur as the result of financial reform. Indeed, all those costs are merely being shifted back to the industry where they belong from the public which shouldn’t be on the hook for bailing out Wall Street or anyone else for that matter.