We've heard a lot of details from Hillary Clinton since the start of campaign season, and today is no different. On Monday morning, in a detailed op-ed for The New York Times, Clinton discussed her plan to rein in Wall Street. Her essay articulates her views regarding that which is wrong with the United States' financial sector, and proposes how Clinton hopes to address those concerns.
The strategy, in condensed form, intends to tighten major financial institutions, emancipate regulatory commissions from their political strongholds, and hold executives accountable. It sounds pretty solid, and it is already receiving acclaim from the likes of Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and former Massachusetts Congressman — and co-sponsor of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act — Barney Frank. Clinton defined her economic stance confidently:
As president, I would not only veto any legislation that would weaken financial reform, but I would also fight for tough new rules, stronger enforcement and more accountability that go well beyond Dodd-Frank.
So how does this align with her long-defined image as an establishment Democrat? Well, to recap, she is most notably criticized for her acquaintance with Wall Street during her time as a United States Senator from New York. Both the public and the pundits have repeatedly questioned her talent for fundraising, as well as her prevalence as a donee of labor unions, politicians, and Wall Street alike. A majority of voters in June said they did not trust Clinton. However, this op-ed shows she really wants to set her image straight. After all, she has put forth effort to change that perception for some time now.
Looks like she's taking some pointers from Bernie Sanders, and it sounds like she means business:
And it shouldn't just be shareholders and taxpayers who feel the pain when banks make bad decisions; executives should have skin in the game. When a firm pays a fine, I would make sure that the penalty cuts into executives' bonuses, too. And I would fight to close the carried interest loophole that gives some fund managers billions of dollars in tax breaks: They should be taxed like every other citizen.
There are a couple of areas where the two Democratic candidates differ, most notably that of Glass-Steagall. Sanders supports the act's reinstatement, whereas Clinton believes it would not have limited the irresponsible behavior of A.I.G. and Lehman Brothers, since they were not traditional banks. This is an excellent question to bring to the next debate.
Republicans may have decided to forget about the financial crisis that caused so much devastation — but I haven't. The proper role of Wall Street is to help Main Street grow and prosper. When our financial sector works the right way, it helps families buy their first homes, entrepreneurs start and grow small businesses and hardworking Americans save for retirement. Rather than pursuing the kind of high-stakes speculation that devastated our economy before, Wall Street should focus on building an economy that creates good-paying jobs, rising incomes and sound investments so that more families can achieve the security of a middle-class life.
Is this a new Hillary or the hidden Hillary we've wanted all along? She has always had a staunchly critical outlook on the financial crisis of 2008, but this plan is specific. It appears Clinton is genuinely receptive to the criticism she has faced, and wishes to address and repair her image. Let's see where the coming months take her.