WASHINGTON, DC- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid joined Senate Banking Committee Chair Chris Dodd, Senator Sherrod Brown and Barbara Easterling, President of the Alliance for Retired Americans, at a press conference Wednesday to discuss how Wall Street reform will protect America's seniors from predatory lending and safeguard their retirement savings. This legislation will reform and strengthen the Securities and Exchange Commission's ability to enforce securities laws, protecting consumers against Bernie Madoff-type scams that caused so many seniors to lose their retirement savings. In addition, it will create an independent agency to monitor firms for abusive practices and protect consumers.
"Wall Street's wild ride cost millions of retirees their savings," said Senate Majority Harry Reid. "Our bill restores trust, accountability and transparency in our financial system so that seniors in Nevada and across America can have the peace of mind to know that their savings are truly secure. None of this can happen unless we can bring a bill to the floor and debate it - but Republicans won't let us do our jobs. Seniors in Nevada and around the country want to see us debate this bill and pass these protections, and Republicans should stop blocking our important work to hold Wall Street accountable."
Chairman Dodd said: "Seniors understand that they have to make smart decisions with their finances. But it's not easy to do that when you don't have clear, accurate information about the products and services you're being offered. Our Wall Street reform bill will help by creating a strong and independent consumer financial protection bureau to ensure that every consumer gets the information he or she needs, in a timely fashion and in plain English, to make good decisions. And it will put a strong cop on the beat to watch out for dangerous products and keep seniors from being victimized."
"Too many Ohio seniors have seen their retirement security gambled away by Wall Street banks," Senator Brown said. "Their homes values have plummeted, their savings have been depleted, and their dreams of retirement are fading. We need to pass reform that holds Wall Street accountable, prevents another financial crisis, and ensures American seniors can retire with the security and dignity they have earned."
Barbara Easterling said: "Seniors are struggling to get by in today's economy and they were victimized by years of unchecked greed and abuse on Wall Street. This legislation would require that the terms and conditions of loans and credit cards be written in plain English and place strict new rules to protect seniors from gimmicks and predatory lending. The Alliance for Retired Americans strongly supports this Wall Street reform bill and it is time for the Senate to act."