Why has it become so excessively dominated by relatively few very large companies? What damage can it do to the rest of us? What reasonable policy changes could bring global megabanks more nearly under control? And why is this unlikely to happen?
If any of these questions interest you – or keep you awake at night – you should take another look at the last time we had this debate at the national level, and reflect on the work of Ted Kaufman, the former Democratic senator from Delaware, who was far ahead of almost everyone in recognizing the problem and thinking about what to do.
Senator Kaufman represented Delaware in 2009 and 2010, and Jeff Connaughton – his chief of staff then – has a new book that puts you in the room. In “The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins,” we see Senator Kaufman as chairman of oversight hearings on the Justice Department and F.B.I.’s pursuit of financial fraud, pushing the Securities and Exchange Commission on the dangerous rise of computerized trading and working with Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, on the legislative fight to impose a hard cap on the size and debts of our largest banks. (I wrote many pieces supporting the work of Senator Kaufman at the time, including in this space, but I never worked for him.)”
Read Simon Johnson’s full article here