US Political Financial Reform Suggestions

April 6, 2010


Why the Fight for Financial Reform Needs to Get Much More Personal


Yet, when it comes to selling financial reform, Democrats are making the same mistake all over again. The nuts and bolts of the legislation — which are even harder for the public to get its head around than they were with health care — are being given a full airing in Congress, on op-ed pages and blogs, and on TV. And these devilish details — capital requirement levels, proprietary trading restrictions, the independence of the proposed consumer financial protection agency, etc., etc. — are critical. They are critical because it was getting them wrong that promoted the devastation in people’s lives we now see around the country. But the human element is once again getting short shrift.

This is a big-time blunder. Ask the proverbial men and women on the street where they stand on the Volcker Rule, and watch their eyes glaze over. The administration needs to make it clear: we don’t need to overhaul our financial system because the Wall Street sandbox has gotten a little messy, and bank CEO bonuses have gotten too big. We need to overhaul our financial system to make sure that system isn’t rigged to destroy the lives of millions of middle class Americans who worked hard, played by the rules, and ended up holding the short end of the stick when the big banks drove our economy over the edge of the cliff… Read more by Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post

This is a great and thoroughly realistic appraisal of the US political situation — and the perpetuated Democratic mistakes — combined with sound suggestions aiming at what the administration ought to do better.

Supplementary: Global Haplifnet – vanguard topics

 haplif – Frank Kalder (HuffPost profile/comments)


Barack Obama’s Rhetoric vs. Wall Street Reality

September 15, 2009


Why Obama Won’t Be Able to Reform Wall Street – Excerpt –

As a result, Obama’s rhetoric has not been matched by reality. In his speech today, the president claimed that the actions of his administration have “spurred lending” and “helped responsible homeowners refinance to stem the tide of lost homes and lost home values.”

But, in truth, credit for Main Street is still very hard to come by, and only 12 percent of eligible homeowners have had their mortgages modified by the president’s home ownership plan. Meanwhile cramdown legislation remains lobbyist roadkill (though Barney Frank is vowing to revive it this fall) and mandatory mediation between homeowners and lenders prior to foreclosure is going nowhere on a national level.

That’s why I could picture all the heads of the big banks sitting there today, listening to Obama and smiling — knowing that, in the end, his claim that his administration is “proposing the most ambitious overhaul of the financial system since the Great Depression” won’t mean anything as long as Wall Street’s relentless lobbying and contributing continue to hold sway in the control room of the S.S. America. Read the entire Sep 14 Arianna Hufflington blog

Although I’m a supporter of Barack Obama’s policy, generally (“Yes, we can!”), I assent to Arianna’s appraisement “ultimately naïve speech on financial reform” referring to the full text.

In particular, Obama

also urged support for the far-reaching changes to financial regulation that he has proposed. These include creating a new agency with broad powers to protect consumers of financial products such as mortgages, giving the Federal Reserve new powers to oversee risks to the overall financial system, and obligating firms to meet stronger capital and liquidity requirements… Read more at Washington Post; VIDEO embedded

Addendum, Sep 16

U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for concrete action at the Group of 20 summit in Pittsburgh Sept. 24-25. (Helene Fouquet, Bloomberg)

 Supplementary: Global Haplifnet – vanguard topics 

haplif – Frank Kalder (HuffPost profile/comments)