Friday, April 23, 2010

Do right by Idahoans


As a member of the Banking Committee, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo needs to take a principled position in favor of controlling Wall Street investment practices that created the worst economic wreck since 1933.

The committee is drafting legislation that would rein in practices and financial products that left even cautious investors with billions in losses, destroyed Idaho families and individuals seeking home ownership, destroyed Main Street businesses, put a record 71,600 residents on the unemployment rolls in February and threaten to wreck Idaho education.

To do anything less than back the stiffest regulation on what is the nation's biggest casino would be unconscionable.

Yet, all 41 Republican members of the Senate signed a letter to Democratic leader Harry Reid last week that said, "We are united in our opposition to the partisan legislation reported by the Senate Banking Committee."

The letter alleged that the bill allows for "endless taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street and establishes new and unlimited regulatory powers that will stifle small businesses and community banks."

BusinessWeek magazine reported that the financial industry held a fundraiser for Crapo on April 14. Investment operations commonly support lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. But the timing was either awful—or enlightening.

Crapo should do right by Idahoans, not be swayed by greedy investment bankers still free to concoct risky schemes to separate investors from their money, take no risk themselves, pocket huge paychecks and look to taxpayers when it all goes bad.

Who can be in favor of that?




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