Steven Pearlstein
The Washington Post

Are you as tired as I am of Wall Street’s shenanigans? Let’s “take our money elsewhere,” said Steven Pearlstein. The U.S. still has a healthy set of banks and insurance companies that are owned and controlled by their customers. It’s time we reinvested in them, because the regulatory effort to rein in Wall Street’s “rip-out-your-eyeball culture” is not working. “The depth and breadth of the industry campaign to gut Dodd-Frank is unlike any I have seen in Washington,” and it’s succeeding in hampering even basic reforms. So instead of fighting a losing regulatory battle, “why not just defund” all these Wall Street institutions that insist on taking excessive risks and paying their CEOs too much? After all, “it’s not their money they are playing with…it’s ours.” Cooperative banks, credit unions, and mutual insurance companies have long “stuck to the basics” of finance, with great customer service and prudent investments. Imagine a grassroots movement in which they challenged Wall Street by offering “an alternative financial universe with different values and a different culture.” That would be an improvement for consumers and “the entire financial system.”