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Ten Things You Can Do Now to Curb Wall Street’s Wealth Transfer System

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Wealth Inequality in the United States

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

(This article has been updated from one that originally ran in 2012.  Please consider emailing it to friends and family members who have given up hope on their ability to create change in America.)

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Income Inequality Graph from Robert Reich's Film, "Inequality for All"

Income Inequality Graph from Robert Reich’s Film, “Inequality for All”

The late 1920s and the early 2000s had two things in common. There was an unprecedented level of wealth and income inequality in the United States and there was no federal legislation to prevent giant Wall Street trading houses from owning deposit-taking banks filled with the savings of moms and pops across America. In both eras, those Wall Street trading houses used bank deposits to make wild bets in risky markets and pay themselves obscene amounts of money.

The 1920s wild west on Wall Street ended in a staggering stock market crash from 1929 to 1932 that rendered thousands of banks insolvent and shut down. At that time, there was no federal insurance on bank deposits so millions of Americans lost all of their savings or received only pennies on the dollar.

The epic Wall Street crash of 2008, the worst since 1929, was not accompanied by moms and pops losing one cent in their bank deposits because the banks had become federally-insured in 1933. But it did require a secret $29 trillion bailout of those banks by the Federal Reserve which has, to this day, grotesquely distorted the U.S. banking system along with the structure of Wall Street.


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