Americans for Financial Reform and Senator Elizabeth Warren have teamed up to produce a video marking the fifth anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. AFR will use the video, Dodd-Frank at 5, to create wider public awareness of the importance of financial reform and of the work yet to be done, as well as the progress already made, in building a safer, fairer, and more useful financial system.
“With Dodd-Frank, we began to unrig the game,” Senator Warren says in the video. As important positive steps, she cites the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – this “little agency that’s been up and running not even four years yet,” but has already delivered billions of dollars in restitution to consumers cheated by banks and financial companies – along with higher capital standards for banks and other steps to “dial down the risk” of another disaster.
Senator Warren describes the struggle for Dodd-Frank and for the CFPB as a David and Goliath story in which AFR – a coalition of more than 200 civil rights, consumer, labor, business, investor, faith-based, and community groups who came together in the spring of 2009 – played a key part. The financial industry “spent more than a million dollars a day fighting against financial reform, and particularly fighting against that little consumer agency,” she says. “But we fought back… This is when Americans for Financial Reform was built… We just didn’t have much in the way of resources, but boy, we all got in there and we fought, and we proved David can beat Goliath.”
“We need to stand strong behind Dodd-Frank, and we need to expand Dodd-Frank,” Sen. Warren declares at the end of the four-minute video. “We need a world where the largest financial institutions in this country understand they can’t build their business models around cheating people, and they can’t get out there and take crazy risks and expect the American taxpayer to pick up the tab when something goes wrong. That’s what we stand for, and we’ve got to stand for it every single day.”