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January 23, 2014

Financial Reform Remains a Work in Progress

“Of all the arguments put forward by big banks and their allies in recent years against financial reform, the line that surfaced last week was arguably the most strange. Wall Street has been reformed, according to this view: There was a great battle, and we (the big banks) lost. There is, consequently, nothing more to do.

“In contrast to that position, I suggest that the decisive battles lie ahead. Some regulatory changes are in the works, but these are relatively limited and all would be easily reversible if attitudes change.

“The dangers to the global economy posed by very large banks are more clearly understood by a handful of people in policy-making circles. On the other hand, many influential people in Washington refuse even to discuss how to measure the extent to which undercapitalized megabanks contribute to the risk of serious crisis, as well as the true cost of such crises.

***

“But make no mistake about it. Washington or Main Street did not win any big battles against the largest and most powerful financial companies. The early skirmishes are over, and the lines are now more clearly drawn.

“As Dennis Kelleher of the pro-reform group Better Markets put it,

Wall Street went to war against Washington and financial reform; it has had many significant victories and, yes, some defeats; but, most importantly, Wall Street’s war continues unabated with no end in sight. Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail banks simply have too much money at stake, literally hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars, to stop fighting.

“Anyone who thinks financial reform is over should read Mr. Kelleher’s full article.”

***

Read Full Economix Blog Post in NY Times Here

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