Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chance to reform the Street is fading

From left, Representative Barney Frank; Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker; Christina D. Romer, the chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers; and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner listened to President Obama's speech at Federal Hall.

A crisis has been wasted. Reform is near impossible now. Whatever does get done will be incremental and minuscule.

President Obama on Monday sternly admonished the financial industry and lawmakers to accept his proposals to reshape financial regulation to protect the nation from a repeat of the excesses that drove Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy and wreaked havoc on the global economy last year.

Not one CEO was at the speech; that pretty much tells what they think about it.

But with the markets slowly healing, Mr. Obama’s plan to revamp financial rules faces a diminishing political imperative. Disenchantment by many Americans with big government, along with growing obstacles from financial industry lobbyists pressing Congress not to do anything drastic, have also helped to stall his proposals.

Financial firms oppose a proposed consumer protection agency. That makes their attitude quite clear.

Obama Urges Stronger Finance Rules Video
Obama Urges Stronger Finance Rules

Obama Speech on Finance Rules, Part 2


U.S. Is Finding Its Role in Business Hard to Unwind (September 14, 2009)
City Room: Obama and Bill Clinton Have Lunch in the VillageText of Obama’s Speech on Financial Reform

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