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January 22, 2016

Financial Reform Newsletter: January 22, 2016

Big Short Poster_0.jpgWhy the movie “The Big Short” matters: As a piercing reminder of the devastating 2008 financial crash (with five Oscar nominations), hopefully the movie The Big Short can be a catalyst for a long overdue national conversation about financial reform.  The movie sheds light on the worst financial crash since The Great Crash of 1929 and how it caused the worst economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The Big Short depicts the realities of too much of Wall Street, including banks that are too-big-to-fail that get bailouts, their high-risk gambling, the reckless pursuit of billions of dollars in bonuses, and the dire consequences for America’s workers, families and communities.

This was detailed by Better Markets President and CEO Dennis Kelleher in an Op Ed this week titled Why The Big Short Matters. The piece highlights why the movie is a must-see film, and encourages viewers to turn their anger into action:

“The Big Short tells a much larger and more important story: it’s about Wall Street’s un-regulated, un-policed and out-of-control gigantic banks and their bankers making huge, high risk bets in an insatiable pursuit of billions of dollars in bonuses (more than $127 billion in New York City alone in the five years before the crash).  Their demand for higher-yielding subprime mortgages and their creation of even higher yielding derivatives on those mortgages generated an irresistible incentive structure that was a ticking time bomb just waiting to blow up.

That’s what pushed our financial system to the brink of collapse and our economy to the brink of a second Great Depression, costing the U.S. more than $20 trillion.  That’s what The Big Short is really about. Remarkably, the movie is still highly entertaining and, based on the huge box office and many award nominations, a big success… 

So go see The Big Short. Laugh. Be frightened. Get angry. But, then, get involved, because if banking and finance is left to bankers, as it was in the years before the crash, reforms will die, recklessness will return, financial criminals will again run rampant and it will all happen again.” 

With your help, that’s what Better Markets does every single day: fighting for Americans’ economic security, prosperity and opportunity.  It does that by working to prevent another devastating financial crash by promoting the public interest in the financial markets, supporting the financial reform of Wall Street and making our financial system work for all Americans again.  You can read the full Op Ed here, see a preview of the movie here and get the book the movie was based on by Michael Lewis, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, here.

Trader_0.jpgDon’t miss Themis Trading’s predictions for the New Year, including on the IEX (the “Investors Exchange”): Joe Saluzzi and Sal Arnuk are two of the most knowledgeable market participants in the country, and have been helping lead the fight for years for fair, well-regulated markets that work for everyone and against misinformation and half-truths that enable the system to be rigged by too many predatory actions by a handful of incumbent market participants.  Their blog is a must-read for anyone who wants the facts about our financial markets.

They recently posted their market structure predictions for the New Year, and highlighted one of the most important issues for the American capital markets: the SEC’s upcoming decision on IEX’s pending application to be an exchange:

“We believe this will happen probably in the second quarter of 2016.  The application, subject to a lengthy and spirited comment period, has turned into a referendum on modern market structure, pitting entrenched status-quo participants against those seeking innovation and market simplification.  We believe the SEC will take a pro-innovation stance.”

To learn more about their predictions for 2016, you can read the full article here, and read their more detailed views on IEX here.

WallStreetCaution.jpg“Not much unites Democrats and Republicans. Anger at Wall Street does”: Democrats and Republicans don’t appear to agree on much these days, but as the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel wrote this week, anger at the too-big-to-fail banks on Wall Street might be the exception. This must read piece highlights how voters are making clear to Presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle that they want to be protected from the unique threat posed by the Wall Street banks and non-banks that don’t play by the same rules as everyone else in the country.  It also shows that, seven years after the devastating 2008 financial crash that really hurt tens of millions of families from coast-to-coast, the American people get it and want real change:

“Eight years after the start of the Great Recession, and seven years since the Troubled Asset Relief Program was implemented, the anger at major financial institutions has only grown – in both parties.

On the left, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is fending off the surprisingly potent populism of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and the accusation that she is Wall Street’s candidate. On the right, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and New York developer Donald Trump have come to dominate the Republican field, and both have ties to Wall Street.  Both are running as fast as their legs can carry them from the Wall Street brand.”

As Better Markets has documented, voters of both parties strongly support reforming Wall Street and reining in the too-big-to-fail banks that pose a threat to our financial system, economy and the standard of living of all Americans.  You can read the full article click here.


Better Markets in the News:

Why The Big Short Matters: More>> 

Hillary Clinton’s Paid Speeches to Wall Street Animate Her Opponents: More>>


News You Don’t Want to Miss:

An Important Win in the Supreme Court for Class Actions: More>> 

Senate committee chairman asks CFTC to explain major accounting error:  More>>

Dem Presidential Candidates Vow to Go Beyond Dodd-Frank: More>> 

Republicans and Democrats Agree: We Hate Wall Street: More>>

CFTC Proposes  Regulation  AT for Automated Trading: More>> 



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