The American polity is infected with a serious imbalance of power between elites and masses, a power which is the principal threat to our democracy.
former U.S. senator, Minnesota
"My view of financial institutions is colored by my years as a prosecutor...None of this surprises me. They are profit-driven corporations that seek to maximize profitability without much regard to social gain."
former inspector general, TARP
"High finance isn't burglary or obtaining money by false pretenses, but rather a judicious selection from the best features of those fine arts."
Finley Peter Dunne, Chicago author, 1867-1936
We can either have a rational resolution to the foreclosure crisis or we can preserve the capital structure of the banks. We can’t do both.
“The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it tells us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.”
Robert Kennedy, 1968
"One of the biggest concerns about this (financial reform) legislation, which we support, it relies on its success on regulators to do, effectively, what they did very poorly in the run up to this crisis."
Barbara Roper, director of investor protection at the Consumer Federation of America
"You can have any kind of home you want. You can even get stucco. Oh, how you can get stucco."
The Marx Brothers
"The recent financial crisis was not a natural disaster; it was a man-made economic assault...People did it. Extreme greed was the driving force. And it will happen again unless we change the rules."
Sen. Carl Levin
"Even if TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in 2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car."
Neil Barofsky, January 2010