Wall Street

Tell Congress: Break Up the Big Banks!

They may not agree on much. But both Democrats and Republicans included reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act - separating traditional commercial banking from Wall Street financial speculation - in their official party platforms.

"Too big to fail" banks are a threat to our economy. But they're also a threat to our democracy - and not only to our democracy, but to other people's democracies.

For twenty years I've supported efforts to reform U.S. foreign policy at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank - in particular, to stop IMF "bailouts" that transfer bad bets from big banks onto public balance sheets, planning to pay for these bailouts with democracy-smashing "austerity" policies.

It's painfully obvious - after the "Asian financial crisis" in the 1990s, after Argentina, after Greece, after Puerto Rico - that we're never going to have a decent chance to meaningfully reform IMF policies until we break the political power of the big banks. And one of the best ways to start doing that is to break them up.

A yuge coalition of groups, including the AFL-CIO and Daily Kos, is working to do just that. Join us by signing our joint petition.

If Michael Moore Would Run for President

If Michael Moore would run for President in 2012, it could be a game-changer in American political life. For starters, it would likely shorten the war in Afghanistan by at least six months, and the American and Afghan lives that would be saved would alone justify the effort.

If Moore announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination now, and followed up that announcement with a vigorous campaign focused on the struggles of rank-and-file Democrats, it would re-mobilize rank-and-file Democratic activists. It's possible that he might even win; but win or lose, the campaign could arrest and reverse the current rightward, pro-corporate trajectory of our national politics, which is the predictable consequence of the failure of Team Obama to deliver on its promises from 2008, which in turn was the predictable consequence of the doomed effort to try to serve two masters: Wall Street and Main Street.

Like few people with his political views, Michael Moore needs no introduction to the Democratic primary electorate. To most rank-and-file Democrats, the name Michael Moore stands for a set of progressive populist ideas: health care for all, workers' rights, opposition to Wall Street's stranglehold on Washington, closing down the wars of empire and bringing our troops home.

In 1984 and 1988, the Jesse Jackson campaigns showed what could be accomplished running a populist, issue-based, movement campaign in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. In 1984, Jackson got more than 3 million votes, a fifth of the total, and won 5 primaries and caucuses. In 1988, he got almost 7 million votes and won seven primaries and four caucuses; at one point, following his victory in the Michigan caucus, he was ahead in delegates.