Keeping Us There

In a New York Times commentary, economist Alan S. Blinder questions why the impetus to clean up Wall Street has suddenly faded.

After all we’ve been through, and with so much anger still directed at financial miscreants, the political indifference toward financial reform is somewhere between maddening and tragic.

Blinder places much of the blame for the loss of urgency on the chaos and competing challenges of a far-reaching and multi-faceted crisis.

Unfortunately, he gives short shrift to the role that “the mother of all lobbies” has played in keeping reform off the agenda (it’s the third of his five reasons), which suggests, at the least, an element of naïveté on his part.

As I see it, an unhealthy relationship between Washington and Wall Street helped get us into this mess; right now, there’s lots of evidence to suggest that those ties are helping to keep us there.

Still, Professor Blinder does offer some thoughtful recommendations. If only our leadership in Washington would realize where their real interests lie and start paying attention.


The Wait for Financial Reform
Alan S. Blinder
New York Times, September 6, 2009.

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