O'Malley says nation needs tougher oversight of Wall Street

Martin O'Malley, in His Own Words

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrat Martin O'Malley is making tougher oversight of Wall Street a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, outlining steps to bring more regulations to large banks and tax high-frequency trading.

The former Maryland governor, in what his campaign called an open letter to the Wall Street megabanks, laid blame on the large financial institutions for the 2008 financial crisis as he released a series of policy proposals Thursday aimed at regulating large banks and cracking down on financial industry excess.

"As president, I have no plans to let up on you. I'll work tirelessly to eliminate the unique danger posed by the handful of too-big-to-fail banks," O'Malley wrote, adding: "Too-big-to-fail, too-big-to-manage, and too-big-to-jail — megabanks pose an enormous risk to the financial system, the economy, and American families."

Martin O'Malley
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O'Malley says nation needs tougher oversight of Wall Street
IOWA CITY, IA - JUNE 11: Democratic presidential hopeful and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley arrives for a campaign event at the Sanctuary Pub on June 11, 2015 in Iowa City, Iowa. This is O'Malley's second visit to Iowa since the launch of his presidential campaign last month. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
IOWA CITY, IA - JUNE 11: Democratic presidential hopeful and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks to guests during a campaign event at the Sanctuary Pub on June 11, 2015 in Iowa City, Iowa. This is O'Malley's second visit to Iowa since the launch of his presidential campaign last month. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 30: Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks during an event to announce his candidacy for a presidential campaign May 30, 2015 at Federal Hill Park in Baltimore, Maryland. O'Malley was the third Democrat, after former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), to throw his hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 10: Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley speaks during the 2015 Alfred K. Whitehead Legislative Conference and Presidential Forum March 10, 2015 in Washington, DC. Prospective 2016 presidential candidates from both political parties participated in the presidential forum during the conference which hosted by the International Association of Fire Fighters. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley introduces US President Barack Obama at Prince Georges Community College on September 26, 2013 in Largo, Maryland. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama rubs noses with Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley after delivering the Sadat Lecture for Peace, entitled 'Peace Through Compassion: Connecting a Multi-Faith World,' at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, on May 7, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
ANNAPOLIS, MD - MARCH 01: Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley waits to speak to advocates of stricter gun control laws as they rally at the Maryland State House on March 1, 2013 in Annapolis, Maryland. Earlier this week, the Maryland Senate passed a gun control bill, which if passed in the House of Delegates, would require a license to purchase a handgun, ban the sale of assault-style rifles and limit magazine size, among other provisions. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JUNE 16: U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden (R) speaks as Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley (D) listens during an event to discuss the Obama Administration's effort to develop and deploy a 'nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network' June 16, 2011 at the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House in Washington, DC. The event was a follow up on President Obama's announcement for his support for a wireless broadband network on February 10, 2011. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
FREDERICK, MD - OCTOBER 27: Democratic Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (R) campaigns for reelection with Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown on October 27, 2010 in Frederick, Maryland. O'Malley is running against former Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich in the election to be held next week. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 7: Democratic candidate for Maryland governor Martin O'Malley kisses his wife Katie while declaring victory during a rally November 7, 2006 in Baltimore, Maryland. O'Malley, Baltimore's mayor, declared victory over Robert Ehrlich for his job as Maryland's governor. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - AUGUST 02: Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley speaks during a National Press Club Newsmakers Luncheon August 2, 2005 in Washington, DC. O'Malley addressed the luncheon with the topic on enhancing homeland security in the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

O'Malley said he would seek to reinstate the Glass Steagall Act, which required Wall Street firms to separate their commercial and investment banking practices, until it was repealed in 1999.

He also intends to implement a financial transaction tax to limit high-frequency trading and reduce high-risk behavior on Wall Street. He would also install higher capital requirements for big banks, require banks and their executives who break the law to admit guilt, and double funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Yet the plan wasn't released without a hitch. One of the footnotes in the 10-page policy white paper aimed at highlighting the revolving door between government and high-paying Wall Street jobs cited a fake news story from September 2014 that said former Attorney General Eric Holder took a $77 million job with JP Morgan Chase. Holder was still attorney general at the time and has since returned to his former law firm.

O'Malley deputy campaign manager Lis Smith said it was an "errant footnote" and the citation was removed from the online version of the document.

O'Malley has yet to gain much traction at the start of his primary bid against Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, and rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, but he has put forward specific policy proposals on climate change and college affordability aimed at attracting the party's base.

The ex-governor's agenda reflects Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's populist push to police Wall Street in recent years. Warren was recruited to run for president by progressive groups but chose not to seek the presidency.

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