Center for Political Awareness

SEC’s Approval of Bitcoin Markets May Set the Stage for Financial Disaster

The latest development in the evolution of the modern financial system is the Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval of bitcoin exchange-traded funds. (Click image for article.)

Photo: The Nasdaq board in Times Square displays scenes from ringing the opening bell as Bitcoin Spot ETF’s are launched on the Nasdaq Exchange on January 11, 2024, in New York City. STEPHANIE KEITH / GETTY IMAGES

Over the past several decades, there have been rapid and fundamental changes in the finance and banking sectors. The banking reforms of the New Deal, which endured up until about 1980 and provided a relative degree of banking and financial stability, were reversed by the neoliberal counterrevolution with an eye toward increasing profits and shredding social responsibility. A new book by world-renowned progressive economist Gerald Epstein, Busting the Bankers’ Club: Finance for the Rest of Us, shows us the result: a financial system dominated by megabanks and shadow financial institutions prone to instability and crises that at the same time rely on government bailouts.

The neoliberal financial system, controlled by what Epstein calls “The Bankers’ Club,” benefits exclusively powerful people and institutions, is linked to the growing inequality of wealth and income, and is a net drain to the U.S. economy. Nonetheless, bankers not only see themselves as “essential workers,” a view that Epstein shreds into pieces, but as former Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein claimed, many think they do “God’s work.”

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