The Nation: Battling the Banksters
Hold the applause. The president would like us to celebrate his "Wall Street reform," but the legislation is misnamed. Barack Obama did not set out as president to reform Wall Street in fundamental ways but to restore it. Judging by the largest banks' booming stock prices and executive bonuses, he appears to have succeeded. The leading bankers expressed relief when they saw the reform package Congress cobbled together on June 25. Wall Street, loathed by citizens everywhere, dodged the bullet in Washington.
Congress followed Obama's path and rejected the sterner measures that promised to actually change things. As with healthcare reform, the White House, joined by the Treasury and the Federal Reserve, spent much of its energy opposing more aggressive ideas or bargaining small-bore compromises. The president kept a low profile, saving himself for the victory celebration.
Despite the defeat of real reform, progressives should not despair—the future looks much brighter than the headlines suggest. Yes, Congress choked on the hard questions. But assuming the Dems pull together last-minute wavering votes, it will be a stronger bill than either the White House or the bankers had intended, thanks to public anger, popular mobilization and nimble pressure from reformers.
Read the entire article at The Nation.