One would think, said Barbara Roper, director of investor protection for the Consumer Federation of America, that “the near destruction of the global economy” would have ended the regulation/no regulation debate.
However, when it comes to our country’s financial system, nothing has changed, according to Roper, and despite a series of successive disasters — the bursting of the tech-stock bubble, the accounting and analyst scandals, the mutual fund scandals and finally, the devastating financial crisis, whose after effects are still being felt in certain quarters – it’s pretty much business as usual on Wall Street.
Granted, in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 crisis, the time frame in which the Securities and Exchange Commission should have completed its regulatory overhaul may have been unreasonable. But Roper also believes that the momentum for change petered out quite quickly, and any move for what she views as much-needed regulatory change has ground to a halt, leaving the financial system stuck exactly where it was.
The sad part of that, she said, is that nothing has changed for the people on the street.
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“The average person does not have a clue as to what is appropriate regulation for derivatives or how credit rating agencies should be regulated or what we would need to make sound decisions about the asset-backed securities that were so disastrous,” she said. “But the average person is, unfortunately, the collateral damage of these kinds of crises.”