News Release

On Anniversary of Financial Crisis, Pennsylvanians Look to Congressman Kanjorski for Leadership on Reform

For Immediate Release

Philadelphia, PA – One year ago this week Lehman Brothers collapsed in New York and the ripple effect began to spread to Pennsylvania. Today, as the President speaks in New York City on the need for strong financial regulations to protect consumers, Pennsylvanians need Congress to pass H.R. 3126, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act.

 “One year ago this week, Wall Street greed and a lack of government oversight brought the financial industry and much of the US economy to the edge of the abyss.  A year later, Pennsylvanians are still struggling,” said Megan DeSmedt, State Director for PennPIRG, the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group. “While some improvements have been made, the fact remains that many of the structural problems that allowed the financial industry to take down the US economy one year ago remain unchanged today.”

For example:
•    Multimillionaires can have their mortgages for vacation homes and yachts renegotiated in bankruptcy court, but regular Americans cannot.
•    Last month in Pennsylvania, 5,766 people lost their homes to foreclosure.
•    While 8.5% of Pennsylvanians were unemployed in July, executives from bailed-out banks were still getting massive paychecks, unfettered by reason or regulation.

And one year later, there is still no agency in Washington, D.C. whose job is to work as a watchdog on the behalf of consumers here in Pennsylvania, and across the country.  We need someone looking out for consumers, to ensure they aren’t getting scammed by credit card companies, mortgage brokers and other unscrupulous financial services companies.

As a member of the powerful banking committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Kanjorski is in the position to push forward the reforms we need, starting with the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency.
 
“This one year anniversary should be a reminder to Congressman Kanjorski and all Members of Congress that they were elected to protect Main Street, not Wall Street.” DeSmedt said.

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