If there was one overriding thing that Americans were crying out for in the populist wave that swept our national politics in 2016, it was, uh... let me check my notes here... to make big banks riskier so that they can make a little more money before they blow up and we have to bail them out again.
Thankfully, the Republican party has heard the people’s collective cry: Please deregulate the big banks! And now, the party of the Blue Collar Billionaire is set to roll back banking regulations that were put in place after the financial crisis of 2008, to try to make it less likely to have another crisis. For example, for several years, banks have been required to hold a certain amount of capital that can be easily liquidated during a crisis, so that they can continue to fund themselves during times of peril, so they don’t blow up and require an enormous public bailout.
Let’s get rid of that! People hate that! We demand that banks instead be able to own riskier assets like municipal bonds, that will increase their profits but will also be more likely to cause another crisis! From the Wall Street Journal:
“It’s an outrageously bad idea,” said Phillip Swagel, a professor at the University of Maryland who served in the George W. Bush Treasury, characterizing the provision as an implicit federal guarantee of the municipal market. In the next crisis, banks will have trouble selling their municipal securities, freezing up the market for them and requiring the government to step in to backstop it, he predicted.
Here we have the Republican party laying the groundwork for the next financial crisis. When it happens... nobody will remember, because nobody understands financial regulation, and Fox News will just say some bullshit and that’s as far as the debate will go. So who cares.