“One year ago a good argument could have been made for cynicism and despair, at least when it came to financial reform. More than four years after an epidemic of Wall Street fraud took down the economy, there had been no indictments of financial executives. Bank CEOs were still treated like royalty in Washington and New York. We still lacked comprehensive regulatory reform. The President’s much-hyped task force on foreclosure fraud had negotiated a cushy, bank-friendly settlement aimed more at placating the public than in restoring justice to ripped-off homeowners.
“Twelve months later, things are still tough. The only bank indictments we’ve seen are of low-level officials. We still don’t have meaningful reform. And yet there are unexpected and promising signs.
“Call them ‘green shoots.’ True, it’s a problematic phrase, it’s been used so often to raise false economic hopes since 2008. These shoots could wither and die. But there’s something in the air we wouldn’t have predicted one year ago: Hope.”
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