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Conscience of Delaware?

March 12, 2010
  1. Excessive deregulation allowed big finance to get out of control from the 1980s – but particularly during and after the 1990s.  This led directly to the economic catastrophe in 2007-08.
  2. We need to modernize and apply the same general principles that were behind the Glass-Steagall, i.e., separating “boring” but essential commercial banking (running payments, offering deposits-with-insurance, etc) from “risky” other forms of financial activity
  3. We need size caps on the biggest banks in our financial system, preferably as a percent of GDP.
  4. We should tighten capital requirements substantially.
  5. And we must regulate derivatives more tightly – on this issue, he likes at least some of the steps being pushed by Gary Gensler at the CFTC.

To be sure, a speech is not legislation.  And, as yet, this is just one senator’s point of view.  But because the administration so completely lost the narrative regarding what happened and why, there is now a free, open, and fair competition to explain what we need to do.

The lobbyists will still prevail on this round.  But a big debate around the nature of our financial system is exactly what we need.

People who want to defend finance as-is now need come out of the woodwork.  Senator Kaufman has set a very high standard.  If you wish to oppose this agenda, speak clearly and in public about why we should not pursue exactly what the senator proposes.

If opponents of reform do not come out and argue the merits of their case, people will reasonably and increasingly infer that Senator Kaufman and his allies are right on all the substance.

from Baseline

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