April 23, 2010

Heard on the Street

All eyes were on Wall Street yesterday when President Obama hit town to chide bankers and explain why, like disciplining a wayward teenager, he was essentially trying to suspend their driving privileges after they wrecked the family car in 2008.

By most accounts, the speech was forceful, deliberate, rational and extended an olive branch to the scolded bankers: if you aren't about scamming your investors, the president said, you don't have anything to fear from additional regulation.  Work with us, he added, and everyone wins.

Sort of.

Though the president has a good chance of getting his way on this one -- adding to a mini-streak of legislative victories, something that could blunt anticipated Democratic losses in upcoming mid-term elections -- it's really unclear whether the bill will do what it intends, and reign in the reckless gambling on Wall Street.

The New York Times has an interesting video explaining why the bill is an attempt to map boundaries through largely uncharted waters.  It also notes the right's attempt to distort the bill by claiming it will perpetuate bailouts -- and Obama's decision to call them out on it, specifically Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

About time, say some Democrats.

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