Gingrich Uses Wall Street Protests To Urge Repeal Of Wall Street Reform

October 05, 2011 6:34 pm ET — Alan Pyke

According to famous Republican "idea man" Newt Gingrich, the lesson from the growing Occupy Wall Street protests is that Congress should repeal last year's landmark Wall Street reform legislation that sought to prevent a repeat of the great financial swindle that crashed the American economy in the latter part of President Bush's term. Today on CNN, Gingrich nonsensically lumped that legislation in with a broad category of action items toward which the anger of the Wall Street protesters should be directed.

WOLF BLITZER (HOST): Well what do you make of this Occupy Wall Street, these demonstrations, some have suggested that this is the left wing's version of the Tea Party movement on the right.

NEWT GINGRICH: I think when you have over 9 percent unemployment, a failing presidency, the truth is with this level of failure Geithner should be fired as Secretary of the Treasury, Bernanke should be fired as chairman of Federal Reserve, the Dodd-Frank bill should be repealed this week. We oughta have decisive action. [...]

BLITZER: Do I get a little sense of you're identifying with these protesters, these Occupy Wall Street demonstrators who are so angry at the system if you will right now, the banking system, the Wall Street system?

GINGRICH: I am as angry about the Dodd-Frank bill, about propping up big banks, about propping up big investment firms— I don't understand why Goldman Sachs got $13 billion of our money through the back door in 2008. I don't understand why the Federal Reserve has spent hundreds of billions of dollars of our money, at least 5 billion of it to the bank of Libya, I think people have every right to be very, very angry. And if we stay at 9 percent unemployment or it gets worse, and the rumors are that this Friday's gonna be worse not better, I think the pressure to do something, not to wait to the next election, but to say to the Congress, why can't you repeal Dodd-Frank now? Why can't you get rid of Geithner now? Why can't you try to have a new policy now? [...] I don't know why the House Republicans don't repeal Dodd-Frank this week, send it to the Senate, and force the Senate Democrats to confront it. This is a terrible bill. It does to financial services what Obamacare does.


As we wrote repeatedly at the time, the objective of the Dodd-Frank reform bill was to prevent future bailouts and reinstate meaningful regulatory mechanisms for the arcane and obtuse financial derivatives markets that became a casino under the GOP's watch. The Occupy movement may still be developing its message, but to claim that it is calling for a return to the regulatory environment that allowed this mess is incredibly cynical.

(h/t @JoanWalsh)