latest Capitolism column attempts to catch folks up on where we are in
the fight for financial regulation. While health care has taken up most
of people's bandwidth, financial reform legislation has been moving
through both houses and now looks like it might be passed this year. I
outline three areas that progressive should pay special attention to: the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, derivatives regulation and Too Big To Fail.
Here's the broader point: "There are two ways of viewing the financial crash. One way is as a
technical failure with a technical solution--adjusting the mechanisms of
oversight, granting regulators new abilities, making market transactions
more transparent and aligning incentives in a more productive fashion.
That's largely the view taken by the Obama administration, and it's the
logic that suffuses much of the pending legislation. The other way to
view the problem is as a fundamentally political one with a singular
root cause: the banks have too much power. From this perspective, the
most important result of reform would be to reduce that power, something
each of the three reforms above would help do."
everyone is well. The Breakdown is on break this week as the magazine
prepares a relaunch of its website. Will be back next week.