Financial Sector Reform Is Next

I got bored just writing that title.  But FS reform is the next big thing on the political agenda, and maybe the last before the November election.  I’ll write about the substance later.  But the political dynamics are depressingly familiar.  

The Democrats’ approach is classic Obama: focused on the problem, going in the right direction, but very incrementally and timidly.  The House passed a decent bill months ago, with all 178 R€epublicans voting against.  The Senate Finance Committee also passed a version, with all GOP members opposed.  Democratic Senate leaders have spent that time trying to negotiate with their GOP counterparts.

As with health care, it has all been for nothing.  Today all 41 GOP senators announced they would not only oppose every reform proposed by Democrats, but will also use the filibuster to block Senate floor debate from even beginning.  They have begun a campaign of lies and distortions about what the reforms would do and would not do, and are openly, brazenly having meetings with top Wall Street officials including the biggest hedge funds and promising to protect the interests of big finance.  It’s just incredible.  They’re not even pretending to have alternatives this time around. 

I hate always to be partisan like this, but one side just refuses to participate in the legislative process, preferring to hope that the recession will wash them back into power.  But, then what?  I’ve never seen anything like it. 

Substance on this issue coming up.  I’ll do a brief outline of what the Dems are trying to accomplish.  BTW, many experts think they’re not doing nearly enough, either.

UPDATE:  I forgot my prediction.  Easiest one I’ve ever made.  Within about…a week, the GOP will realize it needs to have “ideas” for financial reform.  These ideas will be like their ideas on health care reform: Simple slogans that sound good but bear little relation to solving the actual problems of the system.  See “let people buy health insurance across state lines,” which transates as, “completely remove state-level regulation of insurers so they can do literally anything they want leading to a race to the bottom regulation-wise.”

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One response

  1. These tactics of negativism and obstruction,
    and blanket use of the filibuster are, I think, new in our politics.
    We shall see, when election time come around, what the public thinks of them.
    I cannot believe that, when the voters understand what is going on, they will give
    these goings-on their stamp of approval

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