Preventing Future Crises and Protecting Consumers on Main Street
Senator Reed fights hard to put consumers first. He has worked to increase investor protections, improve the transparency of complex financial markets and products, and toughen federal oversight of investment banks and securities firms.
When the economy collapsed in 2008, Reed wrote the law ensuring taxpayers would share in the rewards when the banks recovered. As a result of Reed’s efforts, taxpayers have earned more than $9.4 billion in additional dividends – money that would have otherwise been kept by the rescued banks.
Reed has focused particular attention on ensuring the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) authority to aggressively pursue fraud, improve its risk management capabilities, and protect investors by enhancing the agency’s technological resources to police Wall Street. He has authored laws to strengthen the SEC’s ability to bring enforcement actions, address issues revealed by the Madoff fraud, and modernize the SEC’s ability to obtain critical information.
In order to bring transparency and accountability to Wall Street, Senator Reed helped write several key pieces of the historic Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, including a provision establishing a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). He also created the independent Office of Financial Research, which researches and analyzes risk throughout the financial system. This should give financial regulators the data and analytical power they need to understand the factors that threaten our financial system, provide early warnings, and allow regulators to act on this information to protect our economy.
Senator Reed also joined forces on a bipartisan basis to establish within the CFPB an Office of Servicemember Affairs. This new office acts as a consumer watchdog for servicemembers, veterans, and their families by helping to monitor financial scams and predatory lending that target them.
Key Priorities & Accomplishments
- Reed cosponsored the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which President Obama signed into law, establishing fair and sensible rules for how and when credit card companies can raise interest rates.
- Senator Reed was a key supporter of “swipe fee” reform, helping to pass a law that prevents credit card companies and big banks from imposing billions of dollars in unfair, hidden fees on consumers and small businesses each time a customer uses a debit card.
- Reed helped close a loophole that prevented regulators from overseeing the shadowy, over-the-counter derivatives market and bring greater accountability and transparency to this market. The new law requires that as many derivatives as possible now be traded on exchanges and cleared by clearinghouses. It also incorporates strong new rules that Senator Reed championed to allow regulators to require the public reporting of all swaps transactions, in order to enhance the transparency and stability of these markets.
- Reed closed dangerous loopholes and gaps in financial oversight by requiring advisers to hedge funds and private equity funds to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
- When he served as Chairman of the Banking Committee’s Securities, Insurance, and Investment Subcommittee, Reed brought attention to such issues as high frequency trading and the need for greater transparency in our markets.
Read more by visiting Senator Reed's Working for RI page.