WHAT WE ARE
Better Markets is the public’s voice in the fight to reform and strengthen our financial system so it never needs a taxpayer bailout or threatens to plunge our economy into chaos again. We’re non-profit, non-partisan, and independent. We’re the Wall Street watchdog with a point of view.
The biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression was triggered by a combination of wild speculation and risky bets on Wall Street. The big bankers pocketed billions in bonuses while their recklessness crippled our economy and cost millions of working and middle-class Americans their jobs, homes and savings. To prevent Wall Street from ever doing that again, Congress passed a financial reform law to clean up the way Wall Street works and hold its CEOs and bankers accountable for breaking the rules. Now, the same mega-banks that caused the collapse are spending millions of dollars to lobby regulators and other parts of the government to destroy financial reform and create loopholes so they can take the same dangerous risks that caused the economic crisis.
Our job is to do everything we can to make sure the mega-banks don’t get their way and we have real, strong financial reform that protects our people and the economy by requiring transparency, demanding accountability, and ensuring oversight.
WHAT WE DO
Better Markets promotes and protects the public’s interest on Wall Street and through the financial reform process in three main ways. We:
EXPOSE industry’s massive effort to kill financial reform in court, in Congress, and at the regulatory agencies themselves by:
• Conducting extensive research and analytics into the financial markets
• Publishing research that demonstrates weak links in the system and offers new ideas to fix them
• Meeting with policymakers in the US and internationally to share our research and promote new ideas
• Ringing the alarm bell through mainstream and social media every time the mega-banks and their allies try to undercut reform
EXPLAIN the needlessly complex and arcane world of financial markets, demystifying it for the public, the media, and policymakers by:
• Promoting a “plain English” standard for financial activities
• Briefing reporters, editors, bloggers and policymakers in person, online, and through social media
• Working with the media to decipher the highly specialized language of finance and financial reform
FIGHT for strong, clear rules to protect taxpayers, our treasury and our lives from being ruined by Wall Street greed by:
• Participating in the rulemaking process
• Testifying before Congress
• Defending the actions of the regulatory agencies in court when they promote the public interest
• Filing friend of the court briefs to promote the public interest regardless of the position of the regulatory agencies
• Supporting the formation and development of like-minded organizations and working with them to provide a critical balance in policymaking
WHO WE ARE
Dennis Kelleher is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets, Inc. He comes to Better Markets after three decades of experience in the public, private, political, charitable and non-profit sectors. He has held several senior staff positions in the United States Senate, most recently as the Chief Counsel and Senior Leadership Advisor to the Chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. Previously, he was a Deputy Staff Director and General Counsel to a Senate Committee as well as a Legislative Director for a senior member of the Senate. Mr. Kelleher was a litigation partner with the international law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where he had a national and European practice specializing in securities and financial markets as well as corporate conduct/misconduct. These activities followed four years of active duty enlisted service in the Air Force as a crash/rescue firefighter/medic, which preceded his graduation from Brandeis University and Harvard Law School.
Michael W. Masters is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Better Markets, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to policy and financial reform in the public interest. Mr. Masters’ growing concern for the far-reaching harmful effects of unregulated derivatives markets inspired him to establish Better Markets in 2010 to promote transparency, accountability and oversight in the domestic and global capital and commodity markets. With deep expertise in US policymaking, legislative processes, economic research and analysis and financial management, Better Markets board members and staff consult and advise regulators in the US, the UK and Asia on financial reform issues. As a highly regarded expert on commodities and financial regulation, Mr. Masters has testified before many congressional committees and government agencies, addressed consumer, corporate, investor and academic groups, and appeared in media outlets around the world. Mr. Masters is founder and managing member of Atlanta-based investment firm Masters Capital Management.