Skip to main content

Our Impact Through the Years

Standing Up For Main Street

How has one relatively small nonprofit been able to successfully take on Wall Street and the powerful financial industry, fight for the security, opportunity, and prosperity of all Americans, and win the respect and admiration of so many?

Substantive expertise, independence, fearlessness, sophistication, and credibility, as Better Markets’ journey, from founding in October 2010 through today, highlights. Learn how we’ve made an impact and brought about positive change below. You can find a downloadable timeline and impact report here.

Explore Our Story

  • 2024
  • 2023
  • 2022
  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010

2024

Kelleher Named to Washingtonian's Most Influential List

For the fourth year in a row, Washingtonian Magazine selected Dennis Kelleher, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Better Markets, as one of the Most Influential People in Washington. Washingtonian calls it a “list of the experts and advocates, outside the government, who are playing big roles in Washington’s policy debates.”

Weighing the Costs of AI

Better Markets issued a fact sheet outlining the key threats of Artificial Intelligence in Finance and the key issues policymakers and regulators need to consider.

Carbon Markets

In an extensive comment letter, Better Markets called for the CFTC to increase transparency in the carbon credit markets to help combat climate change.

Opposing Bitcoin ETPs

The team vigorously opposed the approval of Bitcoin ETPs by the SEC, given the threats to consumers, investors, and financial stability.

Op-ed on Election Betting

Kalshi, a financial services company, is trying to facilitate gambling on U.S. elections through CFTC – a dangerous attempt which will threaten our democracy. Dennis Kelleher and Lisa Gilbert, Executive Vice President of Public Citizen, wrote a joint op-ed for the Los Angeles Times explaining why this proposal must be stopped.

Addressing Racial Economic Inequality

During June 2024, Better Markets focused on  areas where the financial regulatory agencies can take action to address racial economic inequality. You can find that work here.

2023

Remembering Lehman

In commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse, Better Markets held a virtual conference with many experts and public officials, including  to discuss the causes, consequences, and ongoing impacts of the 2008 crash, too-big-to-fail generally, and all things finance and economics. 

Crypto Week of Truth

Better Markets held a “Crypto Week of Truth” to shed light on the industry’s failed promises and track record of lawlessness, deception fraud and investor losses. Each day featured original content and analysis examining the fundamental issues surrounding crypto. 

Retirement Rule

Our years-long push (on our own and in collaboration with the coalition) to get the DOL to issue a new, strong set of fiduciary duty rules has borne fruit with a suite of well-crafted provisions that will help tens of millions of retirement savers save tens of billions of dollars a year. 

2023 Banking Crisis

Our staff were quick to respond to the Spring Banking Crisis of 2023.  As the crisis unfolded and, in its aftermath, we provided real-time analysis of the causes and pushed policymakers and regulators to enact real change to protect Main Street families from needless bank failures.

Watch:

Fixing the CRA

Better Markets was quick to identify how banking regulators’ proposals to update the CRA would not work while also identifying the steps they could take to improve outcomes for minority and low-income communities. 

Banking Crisis Behind the Climate Crisis

In a report, Better Markets staff shed a light on how the climate crisis may become the next financial crisis and how regulators, Wall Street, lawmakers, and the media were ignoring it.

Stopping Gambling on Elections

Better Markets used its regualtory, policy, legal, and media expertise to get the CFTC to reject KalshiEX, LLC’s attempt to allow traders to bet on U.S. elections via so-called “event contracts.” Better Markets built a broad coalition of policymakers, experts, advocacy groups, and concerned citizens to oppose the proposal and protect democracy, markets, and investors.

Defending the CFPB

Better Markets joined an amicus curiae brief with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and other prominent civil rights organizations urging the Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of the CFPB.

Transparency on Stock Buybacks

Better Markets issued a comment letter urging the SEC to shine more light on stock buybacks transactions that serve to only benefit management over shareholders.

Correcting False Claims on Capital

After long-overdue capital proposals are released, Better Markets releases a Fact Sheet outlining Wall Street’s most egregious false claims on capital.

SEC's Crypto Enforcement Record

In an examination of the SEC’s work on crypto, our team detailed the facts of what the SEC has actually done and why it has been as effective as possible under the circumstances.

Fighting for Retail Investors

Better Markets continues its work to advocate for reforms to protect retail investors after the GameStop Trading Frenzy, including supporting SEC proposals on issues like Payment for Order Flow (PFOF).

2022

Stronger Capital Requirements

We called on policymakers and regulators to implement higher capital requirements in order to better protect Main Street and our economy. 

Shadow Banking Series

Over the course of the year, Better Markets published a number of reports in our Shadow Banking Series, highlighting the largely unregulated nonbanking sector and the systemic risk they pose to our larger financial system.

Investor Protections for SPACs

Better Markets filed a comment letter urging the SEC to enhance investor protections for in initial public offerings by special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”).

FTX's Attempted Bribe

Recognizing how important and influential Better Markets is (having participated in more than 125 rulemakings at the CFTC alone), FTX offered Better Markets “$1 million or more,” but only if we supported its Application at the CFTC – basically a bribe.  Even though that is more than 25% of our annual budget, we refused to sell out and take FTX’s money, and we continued to aggressively oppose them, including in a face-to-face meeting with Sam Bankman Fried and his team of lobbyists. Dennis Kelleher discussed FTX’s attempted bribe and Better Markets’ work on crypto in the Bloomberg Documentary “Ruin.” 

Watch:

Predicting the 2023 Banking Crisis

Whereas most attention that year was focused on the Federal Reserve’s efforts to tackle inflation, Better Markets was highlighting the big missing story on how the Fed’s actions created significant risks in the banking system, that ultimately contributed to the regional banking crisis in the spring of 2023. These risks played a sizeable role in SVB’s failure.

CRA's Failures

Better Markets published a fact sheet outlining how the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has failed and what steps banking regulators must take to ensure minority communities get equal access to credit.

Corporate Accountability

Public Citizen, joined by Better Markets and the Consumer Federation of America, filed an amicus brief in the en banc proceedings. Our brief explained the troubling and growing trend among companies of using their corporate bylaws as a shield to avoid accountability under federal securities law and other federal statutes, and it explained why this outcome is inconsistent with the provisions of the Securities Exchange Act. Our brief also highlighted the importance of these uniquely important shareholder “derivative” suits, in which shareholders sue on behalf of companies that have been harmed by mismanagement.

Wall St. Needs a Real Robinhood

The Better Markets team authored an extensive law review article in the Western New England Law Review where we argued that Wall Street and finance more generally can and should be democratized, but not through predatory tactics like Gamification.

Opposing FTX

Better Markets opposed Crypto-kingpin FTX’s pending application before the CFTC, highlighting serious concerns, as we pointed out in our comment letter. 

Fighting Market Manipulation

Better Markets joined the Consumer Federation of America in filing an amicus brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to reverse a decision in the district court that ruled that false statements or other forms of deception are necessary elements of a claim of market manipulation.

Scrutinizing Bank Mergers

Better Markets pushed regulators to stop further consolidation among banks to protect consumers by calling upon the Department Justice to work with the Banking Agencies and strengthen the Bank Merger Review Guidelines. 

Excessive Compensation Reform

Better Markets advocated for excessive compensation reform, supporting the SEC’s efforts to claw back excessive CEO compensation and to prevent the next Financial Crisis.

Combatting Racial Inequality

Dennis Kelleher partnered with Dedrick Asante Muhammad, Chief of Membership, Policy and Equity at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and Better Markets board member, to highlight the urgent need for financial market regulators to address racial economic inequality and lay out steps to tackle these persisting issues in an op-ed in the American Banker. 

Climate Risks

In the Fact Sheet: Financial Risks Related to Climate Change Must Be Addressed—Republicans, Democrats, Wall Street Banks, Finance Leaders Agree, we highlighted the widespread, mainstream consensus from Washington to Wall Street and beyond that climate change poses serious and dangerous risks to the financial system and the economy.

HBO's "Gaming Wall Street"

Better Markets is heavily featured in the HBO documentary “Gaming Wall Street” on the GameStop trading frenzy and Wall Street’s Influence over policymaking.

Watch:

2021

Combatting Racial Economic Inequality

Better Markets providing insights on how the SEC could work towards improving racial economic inequality through the regulation of securities.

Agenda for Fed VCS

Better Markets laid out an ambitious yet achievable agenda for the Fed’s next Vice Chair of Supervision, identifying key objectives related to enforcement, promoting greater resiliency for our financial system, and greater resiliency of our financial system, and redirecting the banking system so that it works for all Americans.

Protecting Retirement Savings in the Courts

Better Markets joined an amicus brief in Hughes v Northwestern University to help protect Americans’ retirement savings.

Addressing Racial Economic Inequality in Banking

We published our report Addressing Racial Economic Inequality Through the Banking System, identifying steps the Federal Reserve and other federal banking regulatory agencies must take to begin to level the playing field and address economic inequality and discrimination in the banking sector.

What is ESG and Why is it So Important?

In a white paper titled, What is ESG and Why is it So Important?, Better Markets explored the impact of climate change on the financial system, the prospects for competition in a decarbonized economy, and other ESG issues.

Citadel & High Frequency Trading

We filed an amicus brief in Citadel v SEC, supporting the SEC’s approval of a new order type by IEX that can help protect millions of Americans from high frequency traders.

Gamestop Trading Frenzy

From the beginning of the GameStop trading frenzy, Better Markets provided insights into how these events occurred, the key players, and many of the topics, terms, and activities relevant to these happenings. The team worked tirelessly to make sure our markets are safe for retail investors, not just the special interests on Wall Street.

Agenda for New SEC Chair

In a Financial Times op-ed, Dennis Kelleher laid out a bold agenda for the new SEC Chair “to protect investors; facilitate capital formation; promote fair, orderly, and efficient markets; and strengthen financial system resilience and stability.” 

2020

Investigating the Commodity Markets

Better Markets calls for a CFTC investigation into the unprecedented volatility and negative prices in a benchmark contract for oil and asks the CFTC to review manipulative practices involving certain order types.  The CFTC subsequently announces that investigation and the completion of initial findings.  The media uncovers alleged manipulative practices based, in part, on Better Markets’ analysis. 

Win at the CFTC

Better Markets secures a significant victory from the CFTC, which follows our call for a prohibition on the anti-competitive and anti-market practice called “post-trade name give-up.”  That CFTC action was a critical step towards increased competition in the dealer-dominated derivatives markets.

Responding to the Pandemic

Better Markets continues its ongoing regulatory and legal work and responds to the human, economic and financial crises of the coronavirus. 

Evaluating Justice Barrett

Better Markets issues a report examining the important financial cases on the Supreme Court’s docket in the year ahead and forecasting the ways in which a Justice Amy Coney Barrett will further align the Court with corporations and businesses and against consumers and investors seeking remedies for fraud and abuse in the financial markets.

Letter on Disclosure

In a letter to SEC Chair Jay Clayton, Better Markets and dozens of other public interest groups urge the SEC to institute new disclosure requirements to allow investors and the public to analyze how companies are acting to protect workers, prevent the spread of the virus, and responsibly use any federal aid they receive. 

CNN Op-ed Proposing New Cabinet Position

In an op-ed for CNN, Co-founder, President and CEO Dennis Kelleher outlines the need for a cabinet-level Department of Economic Security to fulfill a need parallel to the Federal Reserve, which effectively looks after the interests of Wall Street and wealthy shareholders.

Commitment to Racial Justice

Better Markets speaks out against embedded racism in U.S. social and political systems, the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on minorities and the role the financial system and financial industry have played in perpetuating those inequities. It issues a statement on the murder of George Floyd and racism. 

Virtual Conference with Senator Brown

Better Markets holds a virtual conference with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) to discuss the current state of financial reform and releases a report on “Protecting Main Street from President trump’s Dangerous Deregulation.”

10th Anniversary of Dodd-Frank

On July 21, the 10th anniversary of Dodd-Frank Act, Better Markets releases two reports and holds a virtual webinar with remarks from former President Barack Obama, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Sen. Chris Dodd and former Rep. Barney Frank giving remarks. C-SPAN carried the event.

TRACing Regulator Actions During the Pandemic

Better Markets launches TRACER or Tracker of Regulatory Agencies Coronavirus Emergency Responses to catalogue every coronavirus-related action taken by the financial regulatory agencies. 

Amicus in SEC Case on Protecting Investors

The Supreme Court issues a ruling in Liu v SEC upholding the SEC’s right to obtain disgorgement from those who violate the securities laws and defraud investors. Better Markets filed a joint amicus brief with the Center for Responsible Lending and the National Consumer Law Center defending the SEC’s position.

Win in Arbitration Case

The Fourth Circuit sides with Better Markets, holding that brokers can be held accountable in arbitration for violating their own rulebook in Interactive Brokers LLC v. Saroop. The decision reflects a core argument that Better Markets advanced in its 2019 amicus brief.  

2019

Standing up for the CFPB

The Hill publishes an op-ed by Better Markets: CFPB is looking out for financial predators instead of Main Street.

Meeting with the Basel Committee

The New Secretary General for the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision visits Better Markets and discusses U.S. and global financial reform efforts past, present and future.

Supreme Court Report

Better Markets releases another special report on the Supreme Court that includes an update on cases involving financial and economic issues for the 2018-2019 Supreme Court term and a look ahead to 2019-2020.

Testifying in Congress

Co-founder, President and CEO Dennis Kelleher testifies at a key Senate hearing in which he reminds lawmakers that America’s top five gigantic, derivative-dealing banks must be properly regulated, serve Main Street instead of threatening it, and never again get taxpayer bailouts.

Wall Street's Rap Sheet

Better Markets releases a special report on the six biggest bailed-out banks, their RAP sheets and their ongoing crime spree.

Goldman Sachs’ 1MDB “Four Monkeys” Defense

Better Markets releases a special report, Goldman Sachs’ 1MDB “Four Monkeys” Defense and CEO Solomon’s Golden Opportunity, detailing the misconduct of Goldman Sachs and the road ahead for the big bank.

2018

Defending the Volcker Rule

Better Markets leads a coalition of public interest organizations in fighting extreme deregulatory rollbacks of the Volcker Rule and successfully convinces the CFTC to abandon a proposal that would have exempted some derivatives dealers from direct federal oversight and many of the Dodd-Frank Act’s reforms. 

“A Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh: Good for Corporations, Bad for Your Wallet.”

Better Markets releases the first in a series of reports on the important role of the Supreme Court in the financial lives of all Americans, this one entitled “A Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh: Good for Corporations, Bad for Your Wallet.

Featured in "Tailspin"

Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall—and Those Fighting to Reverse It,” a best-selling book by author Steven Brill, features comments by Co-founder, President and CEO Dennis Kelleher as well as a section on Better Markets’ forceful advocacy in the public interest. 

Panel with Paul Volcker

Co-founder, President and CEO Dennis Kelleher moderates a panel discussion with Paul Volcker, who told Better Markets in a conversation before he passed away in 2019: “Now it is up to you to carry on the battle.” 

Trump Deregulation

Better Markets compares the endless “rightsizing” or “tweaking” of rules by the Trump administration as “death by 1,000 cuts” in a blog post titled: A Lot of Small Deregulation Can Add Up To Significant Rollbacks.

Better Markets Research

Research from Better Markets finds a majority of American voters want to back candidates who will rein in Wall Street as part of their economic agenda.

Protecting Whistleblowers

Better Market files a comment letter opposing the SEC’s efforts to weaken its whistleblower protection program.

Holding Fraudsters Accountable

Better Markets releases an op-ed that calls on the Supreme Court to hold securities fraudsters accountable in a key case before the Court: Lorenzo v. SEC.

2017

Why Every American Should Want a Strong CFPB

As a longtime and ongoing advocate for financial consumers and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Better Markets publishes an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times discussing Why Every American Should Want a Strong CFPB.  

“The Big Lie”

Better Markets sends a letter to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown of the Senate Banking Committee detailing “the big lie”: the baseless claim that financial regulation and economic growth are mutually exclusive. That was and remains false; indeed, effective financial regulation provides the indispensable foundation for economic growth.

Wells Fargo's Crimes

Better Markets’ engages in substantial advocacy around Wells Fargo’s widespread illegal sales practices, including releasing a fact sheet detailing the scope and scale of those activities as well as an op-ed, report and other materials. Better Markets is the first to call for the firing of Wells Fargo’s CEO and board, which happens subsequently to varying degrees

Roundtable on FSOC's Role

Better Markets participates in a Treasury Department roundtable meeting on the President’s Executive Order with a focus on FSOC’s unique role to look for emerging systemic risks to the financial system. 

MetLife v. FSOC

Citing profound and unmanageable conflicts of interest, Better Markets goes to court to disqualify the Department of Justice from representing FSOC in the MetLife v. FSOC case. 

2016

Amicus Brief on Fiduciary Rule

Better Markets files one in a series of amicus briefs in the federal district and appellate courts defending the Department of Labor’s strong fiduciary duty rule protecting retirement savers from adviser conflicts of interest that siphon away tens of billions of dollars a year, this one a joint brief in the D.C. District Court in National Assoc. for Fixed Annuities v. Perez, leading to a victory on the merits.

Advocating on the CAT

Better Markets launches what ends up being a multi-year advocacy effort to compel the SEC to create a Consolidated Audit Trail that would enable the SEC to punish predatory market practices and strengthen market integrity.  

Amicus on MetLife Inc. v. FSOC

Better Markets files an amicus brief in the D.C. Circuit in MetLife Inc. v. Financial Stability Oversight Council defending the designation of MetLife by the Financial Stability Oversight Counsel as a potential threat to financial stability and seeking to preserve the FSOC’s critically important designation authority designed to help prevent future crises and bailouts.

Testifying in Congress

Securities Specialist and Legal Director Stephen Hall testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs’ Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment, at a hearing entitled “Improving Communities’ and Businesses’ Access to Capital and Economic Development.”

CFTC Finalizes its Cross-Border Margin Rule

The CFTC finalizes its cross-border margin rule, a significant example of Better Markets’ successful advocacy to stop global derivatives dealers from searching for loopholes around the globe for their high-risk trading.

Stopping Wall Street’s Derivatives Dealers Club

Better Markets issues a policy brief entitled “Stopping Wall Street’s Derivatives Dealers Club,” which proposes concrete solutions to some of the biggest challenges remaining in the derivatives markets. 

2015

Exposing Industry Bought Research

Better Markets exposes a study portrayed by the industry as Harvard research that was in fact drafted by a former JPMorgan Chase officer and issues a fact sheet that dismantles the error-laden document.  

MetLife's Challenge of FSOC

Better Markets moves to intervene in MetLife’s challenge to its designation by the Financial Stability Oversight Counsel as a potential threat to financial stability, for the purpose of unsealing the record, most of which is hidden from public view. That successful motion ultimately leads to a strong victory in the D.C. Circuit. See MetLife, Inc. v. Financial Stability Oversight Counsel, 865 F.3d 661 (D.C. Cir. 2017).  

AARP Event

Better Markets joins other leading organizations at an AARP event where President Obama announces his support for an updated fiduciary duty rule that would require all advisers who provides retirement investment advice to act solely in the best interests of their clients.

Updating the Fiduciary Duty Rule

Better Markets, along with six other organizations (AARP; AFL-CIO; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Americans for Financial Reform; Consumer Federation of America; and Pension Rights Center) announce the “Save Our Retirement” campaign and the launch of a new website dedicated to educating the public and mobilizing support for the Department of Labor’s fiduciary duty rule that requires financial advisers to act solely in the best interest of their clients saving for retirement. 

The Cost of the Crisis

In conjunction with the event, Better Markets releases a report titled The Cost of the Crisis, $20 Trillion and Counting, detailing how the 2008 financial crash and the economic collapse it caused cost the United States more than $20 trillion. 

5 Years After Dodd-Frank

Better Markets holds an event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., to mark the fifth anniversary of President Obama signing the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform and Consumer Protection Act on July 21, 2010. C-SPAN covers the event which features remarks by former Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew and a conversation with Sen. Chris Dodd (Ct.) and former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass), moderated by then-Washington Post financial reporter Ylan Mui.

Risk Retention Rule

Better Markets files an amicus brief in the D.C. Circuit defending the risk retention rule under the Dodd-Frank Act that requires the sponsors of complex securitized investments to retain some of the risks—or “skin the game”—to reduce systemic risk.  See Loan Syndication & Trading Assoc. v. SEC.

Conflicts of Interest and American Retirees

Dennis Kelleher testifies before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce subcommittee at a hearing titled, “Restricting Access to Financial Advice: Evaluating the Costs and Consequences for Working Families.” Kelleher emphasizes that conflicts of interest among financial advisers are causing massive harm to American retirees. 

Nonbanks and FSOC

Dennis Kelleher testifies after Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew in March 2015 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs at a hearing entitled “FSOC Accountability: Nonbank Designations.” Better Markets’ materials regarding FSOC can be found here. 

Dodd-Frank and Wall Street

Co-founder, President and CEO Dennis Kelleher examines the impact of the Dodd-Frank legislation on the U.S. banking industry on Bloomberg’s “In The Loop.”

2014

Protecting Investors from High Frequency Traders

Better Markets continues to push regulators and policy makers to take action to stop predatory High Frequency Traders, which rip off investors and retirees and destroy confidence in our markets.

Reigning in Wall Street

Better Markets responds to President Obama’s recognition for further action to reign in Wall Street with a list of actions the administration can take to better protect taxpayers, American families and the economy from falling victim to Wall Street’s recklessness. 

Cross Border Rules

As part of its extensive advocacy for strong cross-border regulation, Better Markets files an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in the case of Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association v. CFTC, supporting the CFTC’s cross-border rules and guidance against a slew of attacks, including those based on cost-benefit analysis. Better Markets’ cross border materials are collected here.

Taking on Backroom Deals

When the SEC followed the sweetheart settlement template it established when it settled with Goldman Sachs for its Abacus CDO, Better Markets litigated in the SEC v. Citigroup case in the District and Appeal Courts. As with the lawsuit regarding the settlement with JPMorgan Chase, Better Markets again argued for courts to independently review these backroom deals, which were often tainted by pre- and/or post-industry employment. While the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected the SEC’s extreme position that courts are no more than a rubber stamp for whatever the SEC does, the decision failed to empower courts to fulfill a meaningful and effective oversight role. 

Taking on JP Morgan's Sweetheart Settlement

Better Markets files a lawsuit against the Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder to challenge the $13 billion sweetheart settlement with JPMorgan Chase & Co for its years of illegal conduct inflating the subprime mortgage bubble and fueling the 2008 financial crash.

2013

Money Market Funds

Better Markets files a comment letter urging the SEC to adopt comprehensive reforms to address the de-stabilizing threat of runs on money market funds, a persistent danger that surfaced again in March this year as the Coronavirus shook the financial markets.

Advocating for the Volcker Rule

Co-founder, President and CEO Dennis Kelleher discusses the Volcker Rule and the need to change Wall Street’s risk-taking culture on PBS NewsHour.

Oversight of Swap Markets

Better Markets files a joint amicus brief in the D.C. Circuit defending an important CFTC rule enhancing oversight of the swaps markets, in Investment Company Institute & Chamber of Commerce v. CFTC. The brief advances arguments on cost-benefits analysis that the court embraces in its decision on the merits upholding the rule. See Inv. Co. Inst. v. U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Comm’n, 720 F. 3d 370, 379 (D.C. Cir. 2013).

Advocating for the Volcker Rule

As part of a comprehensive, multi-agency advocacy program, Better Markets meets with SEC Chair Mary Jo While and staff to advocate for a strong Volcker Rule and discuss how it can be effectively implemented. Better Markets’ Volcker Rule materials are collected here.

DOJ Lawsuit against Standard and Poor's Rating Agency

Co-founder, President and CEO Dennis Kelleher discusses the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Standard and Poor’s rating agency on CNBC Worldwide Exchange. 

Making the Derivatives Markets Safer

Co-founder, President and CEO Dennis Kelleher testifies before the Senate Agriculture Committee on “Reauthorization of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission,” explaining the dangers of the unregulated and underregulated derivatives markets that led to the 2008 financial crisis.

2012

Excessive Speculation and the impact on Main Street

Co-founder, President and CEO Dennis Kelleher testifies before Congress that rising gas prices are closely related to excessive speculation in the U.S. derivatives markets by Wall Street banks and other firms.  

Protecting Community Banks

Better Markets sends a letter to the Senate Banking Committee urging that community banks be treated differently than Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail banks. 

Risks from Automated Trading

Better Markets testifies to the Senate Banking Committee on computerized trading, raising early concerns about the risks associated with automated trading and the effects that predatory trading has on U.S. securities markets. 

Featured in Documentaries

Frontline features Mr. Kelleher in its award-winning documentary “Money, Power and Wall Street” and PBS also highlights Mr. Kelleher and Better Markets’ work in  “Breaking the Banks.

Better Markets Begins Garnering Attention

The New York Times profiles Co-founder, President and CEO Dennis Kelleher in an article titled “Facing Down the Bankers” and refers to him as “one of the most powerful lobbyists on financial reform.” 

The Volcker Rule

Co-founder, President and CEO Dennis Kelleher testifies before the House Financial Services Committee in a hearing entitled “Examining the Impact of the Volcker Rule on Markets, Businesses, Investors and Job Creation, Part II.”

Taking on the Misuse of Cost-Benefit Analysis

Better Markets files the first of many amicus briefs, this one in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, defending the CFTC’s position limits rule against industry’s attack on cost-benefit analysis grounds, in International Swaps & Derivatives Association v. CFTC.

Better Markets advocating for the Public Interest in Court

Better Markets files a motion with the D.C. Circuit seeking an enhanced role as an amicus to argue for the public interest during review of the weak and opaque settlement agreement between the SEC and Citigroup for the bank’s role in the financial crisis. Soon thereafter, and in light of Better Markets’ arguments, the court orders that independent counsel be appointed to represent the public interest in the case on appeal. SEC v. Citigroup Global Markets Inc., No. 11-5227-cv (per curiam opinion and order) (2d Cir. Mar. 15, 2012)  

The Cost of 2008

Better Markets releases a report that estimates the cost of the 2008-2009 financial crisis to be more than $12.8 trillion during an event at the National Press Club.  

Setting the Record Straight on Financial Reform

Better Markets publishes the trailblazing and widely influential report “Setting the Record Straight on Cost Benefit Analysis and Financial Reform at the SEC.” It counters the industry’s self-interested, one-sided demands for a one-size-fits-all, quantitative and onerous cost-benefit analysis in the rulemaking process. This was little more than “industry cost only analysis” and was a primary club that the industry used against the Dodd-Frank Act. At the time, the financial industry’s analysis was unrebutted and had been gaining traction in the courts and Congress. Better Markets’ robust report rebutted those arguments and showed that the industry’s claims were baseless on both legal and policy grounds.  

2011

CNBC Interview

In an interview with CNBC, Better Markets Chair Mike Masters explains the importance of limiting excessive speculation affecting commodities markets as 17 senators write to the CFTC calling for a plan to impose position limits in the energy futures markets.  

CFTC Agrees with Better Markets

The CFTC adopts some of Better Markets’ positions arguing for greater transparency in its final rule establishing a framework for derivatives clearing organizations.

Report on Commodities Prices

Better Markets releases one of its first reports: Commodity Index Traders and Boom/Bust in Commodities Prices on how commodity price volatility impacts American families through increased prices for food, fuel and clothing. This is a critical early effort in our 10-year fight to enact meaningful limits on speculation in the derivatives markets, which adversely affects the price of everything from gasoline to a loaf of bread to babies’ toys.  

First CFTC Dodd-Frank rulemaking

In its first final Dodd-Frank rulemakings, the CFTC adopts some of Better Markets’ calls for improved risk management and greater transparency, marking the first of many Better Markets victories at the agency.

Welcome Stephen Hall

Stephen Hall, formerly senior counsel to the Committee on Financial Services of the U.S. House of Representatives, joins Better Markets as securities specialist and later becomes legal director as well. As of 2024, Mr. Hall is one of Better Markets’ longest serving employees along with Co-founder, President and CEO Dennis Kelleher.

2010

Dodd Frank Symposium

Better Markets participates in a symposium in Washington, D.C., on the economic impact of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Social Media Begins

Better Markets launches a proactive communications strategy that employs early-use of social media, including Twitter (@BetterMarkets) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BetterMarkets/), to provide substantive information to the press and other constituencies, issue rapid responses to rebut industry spin and disinformation and highlight industry and regulatory activities.

Featured in welling@weeden

Co-founder and Chair Mike Masters talks with welling@weeden about the impetus to launch Better Markets.

Hitting the Ground Running

Better Markets files its first comment letters, launches a blog, hires its first employees and meets with staff at the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and other regulatory agencies.

Better Markets Launches

Better Markets officially launches Oct. 1 and sets up headquarters on K Street in Washington, D.C.—just blocks from the White House, Congress, the federal courts and the financial regulatory agencies—and begins meeting with regulators and drafting comment letters. The organization’s founding is just months after the July 2010 passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Contact Us

For media inquiries, please contact press@bettermarkets.org or 202-618-6433.

To sign up for our email newsletter, please visit this page.

Name(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sign Up — Stay Informed With Our Monthly Newsletter

"* (Required)" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

For media inquiries,

please contact press@bettermarkets.org or 202-618-6433.

Donate

Help us fight for the public interest in our financial markets, protecting Main Street from Wall Street and avoiding another costly financial collapse and economic crisis, by making a donation today.

Donate Today