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Public Citizen Joins Fight to ‘Take On Wall Street’

May 24, 2016

Public Citizen Joins Fight to ‘Take On Wall Street’

Broad and Diverse Coalition Presses for Further Financial Reforms

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Public Citizen joined with dozens of allies to launch the “Take On Wall Street” campaign to push for policies that will make banking safer and fairer for consumers.

“Since our founding 45 years ago, Public Citizen has been at the forefront of fighting corporate power, like that wielded by the banking industry,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “Taking on Wall Street not only includes advocating expanded financial reforms, but it also means tracking the vast sums being poured into our politics, corrupting our democracy.”

With support of congressional champions like U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Public Citizen and allies laid out the campaign’s policy goals: closing gaps in the tax code like the “carried interest” and “performance pay” loopholes, which lead to economic inequality and skyrocketing CEO pay; implementing a speculation tax on Wall Street trades to calm markets and create revenue; breaking up the big banks to reduce the problem of “too-big-to-fail” institutions; and moving toward making banking services available at post offices to ensure all Americans have access to fair and reasonable banking options and aren’t pushed into predatory financial services.

“Public Citizen is proud to join with our partners in launching the ‘Take On Wall Street’ campaign to champion greater fairness in our financial system,” said Susan Harley, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “It will take an army of aligned groups to counter the outsized influence of big banks and other corporate interests that have rigged our economy − fattening their pockets at the expense of working people. Fortunately, we have such an army.”

One of the goals of the campaign is to capitalize on the populist sentiment that has permeated the current political debate. In addition to championing specific legislation on Capitol Hill, Public Citizen and partners will “Take On Wall Street” in communities across the country − from city halls to state legislatures.

“The time is now to ensure that the voices of consumers are heard above the roar of Wall Street’s power and influence, with its deep pockets and legions of lobbyists,” said Gilbert. “The policies embodied in the ‘Take On Wall Street’ campaign would make real and measurable advances in Americans’ financial security while leveling a playing field that’s currently heavily skewed in favor of the wealthy and well-connected.”