US presidential candidate Clinton to detail sweeping plan to rein in Wall Street

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaking during a community forum at Cornell College in Mt Vernon, Iowa, on Oct 7.
US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaking during a community forum at Cornell College in Mt Vernon, Iowa, on Oct 7.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - United States Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Thursday (Oct 8) will unveil a sweeping plan to curb what she has said are the abuses of Wall Street, proposing everything from raising the fines that can be levied by regulators to requiring executives to bear some of those costs.

The outline of Clinton's plan, which was provided to Reuters for review, also includes strengthening the "Volcker rule" in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and imposing a new tax on high-frequency trading.

Clinton's "plan will tackle abuses and risks at big banks as well as other institutions. And it will hold bad actors on Wall Street accountable - whether they are individuals or corporations," according to a campaign aide.

Clinton had said at an Iowa campaign stop on Tuesday that she would lay out her plan to rein in Wall Street abuses within the next week.

Clinton said her plan would focus on more than banks, taking into account any kind of financial institution that causes disruption in the marketplace.

The first detail to emerge late Wednesday was a new high-frequency trading tax that would target securities transactions with excessive levels of order cancellations. Such trading has "unnecessarily burdened our markets and enabled unfair and abusive trading strategies," the aide said.

Clinton's Wall Street proposals are being closely watched by progressives within the Democratic Party who have called on her to take an aggressive stance towards the financial industry.

Clinton believes that banks are already structuring their operations to avoid a Volcker rule prohibition on risky trading and will close that loophole, her campaign said.

Clinton will aim to hold individuals, in addition to institutions, accountable for financial wrongdoing by requiring executives to share the burden of fines levied for wrongdoing and also barring individuals convicted of financial crimes from working in the entire financial industry, her campaign said. "People should have gone to jail," Clinton said this week of the 2008 financial crisis.

Clinton also believes that deferred prosecution agreements are overused in the financial sector and would set guidelines to curb their use.

She would also look into increasing the maximum penalties that can be levied by regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, according to the outline of her plan.