Paranoia is rampant among Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee and was on display throughout its hearing yesterday. Unfortunately for the nation, much of that paranoia is well founded.
Just take a look at the photo above. The panel of witnesses that testified yesterday represent just eight of the ten voting members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC; which is pronounced F-Sock), another layer of oversight imposed by the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010 to monitor an ever sprawling octopus of a financial system that looks to most Americans as if it is still out of control, seven long years after the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression.
Behind each of the regulators on the panel (see list and testimony below), with the exception of S. Roy Woodall, the independent member of FSOC with insurance expertise, there is a regulatory agency eating up more and more taxpayers’ dollars while the financial system itself continues to exhibit dangerous and erratic behavior; books continue to be published showing the stock market is rigged and Wall Street is a parasitic wealth transfer operation; commodity prices plummet; junk bond defaults double year over year; derivative exposures remain in the dark; community banks continue to go out of business or are gobbled up; and the holdings of the mega Wall Street banks become ever more concentrated, with just six banks now controlling over 90 percent of derivatives (still housed on the books of their insured, taxpayer-backstopped commercial bank) and 40 percent of deposits.
This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on December 9, 2015.