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A way to rein in Wall Street greed

Wall Street’s greed crashed our economy and caused the Great Recession we’re struggling through today.

Yet the bankers on Wall Street continue to reward themselves with astronomical bonuses for engaging in the same high-risk financial gimmicks that crashed our economy back in 2008. Firms, big banks and hedge funds on Wall Street spent more than $135 billion on record-breaking payouts in 2010; the top 25 hedge fund managers raked in $22 billion by themselves.

It’s an absurd situation. It has to stop. And you can help stop it.

Congress passed the Wall Street reform bill last year, and now federal agencies are seeking comments from the public on how they should implement the section of the law about Wall Street pay practices.

That’s right – they want to hear from you.

But, in order to send your comments to the seven agencies, each has its own set of requirements, its own website and its own email address – it’s the kind of stuff that can be confusing if you’re not somebody who looks at government documents every day (heck, it can be confusing even if you do).

So we made it easy by setting up a website where you can send your message to the agencies: http://pubc.it/FixWallSt

It’s especially important for you to personalize your comments by sharing your own story about how the economic crisis has affected you, your family, your friends or your community.

And if you would like help writing your comments to maximize their impact, please don’t hesitate to write to us at action@citizen.org.

You can write a paragraph, or you can write a book. But make sure you submit your comments before May 31. Afterward, the agencies will no longer be accepting comments.

If you’re not sure what to write about, here are some ideas:

•    Write about your out-of-work relative, once awarded employee-of-the-year.

•    Write about your neighbor, forced out of retirement because the crash eviscerated her 401(k).

•    Write about your friend who just graduated from college, with honors, into a jobless economy.

•    Write about the Irish, the Icelanders and the Africans who suffer because bad pay incentives led the Wall Street fraudsters to spread their toxic practices globally.

•    Write about yourself.

Need more incentive to go write your comments? Well, you should be aware that the bankers raking in millions and billions on Wall Street would rather not see things change – and they’ve hired cadres of bank lobbyists to fight rules like this every step of the way.

Don’t take my word for it – you can read about it yourself in our recent report about Wall Street’s efforts to bias the rule-making process.

Want to learn more about Wall Street’s outrageous pay practices? Check out our essay on that very subject.

Just make sure that before the end of May, you also visit our website where you can send your comments to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the National Credit Union Administration and the Office of Thrift Supervision.