Make Bankers Mad

Joe Nocera has a very interesting column in the New York Times critiquing President Obama’s financial sector overhaul, as compared to the changes FDR pushed through during the Great Depression to put in place a regulatory structure for the financial industry. I haven’t sorted through the full Obama plan yet, but I think Nocera’s closing line is a very good indication of how the public and the White House should be thinking about these needed reforms:

If Mr. Obama hopes to create a regulatory environment that stands for another six decades, he is going to have to do what Roosevelt did once upon a time. He is going to have make some bankers mad.

I think this is obvious to anyone who’s watched in anger as the banksters who got this country in the economic mess we’re currently in get bailout after bailout – and then direct substantial sums to reward their executives for failure. Taxpayer have been asked to carry all of the risk, while the banksters get to play in an economic-political structure where they say “Heads we win, tails you lose.” This is not a cohort that should wind up happy with what the administration puts in place. Quite simply, if it isn’t making bankers mad, it isn’t good enough.

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