The 2008 financial crisis cost the American people 8.5 million jobs, $19 trillion in lost household wealth, and 10 million homes. The echoes are still felt today as average middle-class family wealth remains nearly 40 percent off 2001 levels. Reckless risk taking, consumer and investor abuses, and an absence of strong and necessary regulation brought us the crisis. Unfortunately, the Trump administration, with its executive orders and appointments, appears ready to send us down that pathway once again.
As the cop on the Wall Street beat, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plays a crucial role protecting the American people from another financial crisis and financial abuses. Yet the SEC is a troubled agency. Despite outstanding professional staff, its track record during the last number of years leaves much to be desired. Unfortunately, but perhaps unsurprisingly, President Trump has nominated as chair of the SEC a longtime corporate attorney who has represented many of Wall Street’s largest financial institutions.This article was originally published in The Hill.