If you only contact your US Representative and Senators about one thing this year, it should be about putting in place sensible banking regulations.
Check out this New York Times opinion piece to find out why:
Here's a sample:
Prudent banks would not lend to borrowers like themselves unless the risks were borne by someone else. But insured depositors, and creditors who expect to be paid by authorities if not by the bank, agree to lend to banks at attractive terms, allowing them to enjoy the upside of risks while others — you, the taxpayer — share the downside.
Implicit guarantees of government support perversely encouraged banks to borrow, take risk and become “too big to fail.” Recent scandals — JPMorgan’s $6 billion London trading loss, an HSBC money laundering scandal that resulted in a $1.9 billion settlement, and inappropriate sales of credit-card protection insurance that resulted, on Thursday, in a $2 billion settlement by British banks — suggest that the largest banks are also too big to manage, control and regulate.
NOTHING suggests that banks couldn’t do what they do if they financed, for example, 30 percent of their assets with equity (unborrowed funds) — a level considered perfectly normal, or even low, for healthy corporations. Yet this simple idea is considered radical, even heretical, in the hermetic bubble of banking.When we deposit money in a bank, we are lending it to the bank and they invest it. If banks were risking more of their own money (equity) and that of their shareholders' (potential dividends), they would be inclined to take fewer risks with our money.