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Poll: Most Tennessee Residents Want Financial Reform Now

May 14, 2010

NASHVILLE, TENN. - As a financial reform bill makes its way through Congress, a new poll shows over 50 percent of Tennesseans like the idea of tighter regulations for Wall Street - and they support seeing that sooner rather than later.

Gordon McDonald is the manager of Pews' Financial Reform Project - the group that commissioned the non-partisan study, and he says that those numbers are even higher, at more than 60 percent, when residents were asked to make the connection between financial reform and an economic recovery.

"This is not necessarily surprising when you think that Tennessee, as a result of the financial crisis, has lost nearly 150,000 jobs."

McDonald says Tennessee lost an estimated $11.5 billion in production due to slower economic growth tied to the crisis, according to McDonald, which he says began in September of 2008. The average U.S. household has lost nearly $5,800, he adds.

"When you put this in context, it makes it clear that the American public have some real concerns about the economic situation in America, and they think that financial reform can go a long way to solving some of those."

About 35 percent of those polled think that Congress and the president have more important issues to focus on. The Pew poll focused on several aspects of reform including ending "too big to fail," and consumer protection from harmful business practices.

Report is available at www.pewfr.org.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - TN