By Richard Kovacevich, former CEO of Wells Fargo. It's strikingly clear, concise, and forceful. Everybody who runs for Congress or who manages the Fed or the SEC should be asked about it. Excerpts:
I am sure most of you have noticed the publicity surrounding BaoBao, the new panda cub at the Smithsonian National Zoo this year. Well, BaoBao should fit in well in Washington: she costs a fortune, she has no useful skills, and she is always on TV. . . .
If you don't remember anything else I say today, please remember this: only about 20 financial institutions perpetuated this crisis. About half were investment banks and the other half were savings and loans. Only one, Citicorp, was a commercial bank, but was operating more like an investment bank. . . . Yet 6,000 commercial banks are being punished with Dodd-Frank penalties in the same way as the guilty parties. . . .
Politicians and regulators have responsed to each crisis by piling on more extensive and burdensome reulations, assuring citizens that they have fixed the problem without addressing the actual causes.
Today the 6,000 commercial banks and their boards and management are spending most all of their time and resources on compliance, regulatory changes, and litigation for something they didn't do.