- Mike Bloomberg rolled out a plan to crack down on Wall Street that mirrors proposals from Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, notably with its inclusion of a financial-transactions tax.
- Bloomberg's plan calls for tougher oversight of the largest Wall Street banks and for strengthening consumer-protection laws.
- It's a reversal from Bloomberg's past stance on financial regulation. While he was New York City's mayor in 2010, he warned Democrats against taking "punitive actions" toward Wall Street that could harm the economy.
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The Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg on Tuesday unveiled his plan to crack down on Wall Street. It includes a financial-transactions tax that draws from plans from Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
The proposal calls for reinstating stricter oversight of the biggest banks on Wall Street and shoring up consumer-protection laws governing payday lending and financial advisers. It would also set up a special team within the Justice Department to investigate bankers and fight corporate crime.
The former New York City mayor also seeks to merge Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government housing giants.
"We need to make the financial system work for every American," Bloomberg said in a tweet about his proposal, adding that President Donald Trump had "rolled back critical protections" under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law designed to prevent another financial collapse.
"I won't let him get away with it," the billionaire media executive said.
The plan marked a reversal from Bloomberg's past stance on tougher regulations on Wall Street, the sector where he amassed a $63 billion fortune selling financial data.
As New York City's mayor in 2010, Bloomberg urged Democrats not to take "punitive actions" that could harm US economic growth, Politico reported at the time. Four years later, he called Dodd-Frank a package of "stupid laws" that the financial sector learned to ignore.
The inclusion of a 0.1% tax on every stock and bond traded echoes proposals from Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, underscoring the Democratic Party's shift to the left in the decade since the 2008 financial crisis. The latter last year cosponsored a House bill to slap the tax on securities transactions and curb high-frequency trading.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg have also endorsed the idea of a tax on Wall Street transactions. Still, Sanders has gone a lot further than Bloomberg, as the Vermont senator has proposed breaking up the biggest banks on Wall Street.
Bloomberg has encountered backlash from progressives arguing that the billionaire is using his personal fortune to fund his way to the White House. And a string of resurfaced comments has recently caused trouble for the campaign; during a 2008 interview, Bloomberg linked the financial crisis to the end of redlining, the discriminatory mortgage-lending practice targeting black Americans.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg introduced a plan to raise $5 trillion in tax revenue from the wealthiest Americans and corporations, to partially roll back the tax cuts under Trump, and to raise the top marginal tax rate on income.
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