Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees business coverage for TheAtlantic.com. More
Thompson has written for Slate, BusinessWeek, and the Daily Beast. He has also appeared as a guest on radio and television networks, including NPR, the BBC, CNBC, and MSNBC.
"Every financial crisis of the last generation has sparked some effort at reform," Mr. Geithner said as he went before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. "But past efforts have begun too late, after the will to act has subsided."
HAVING spent much of the past year putting out fires, America's leaders are now turning their attention to preventing future blazes. Barack Obama unveiled proposals on Wednesday June 17th that would refashion the federal rules governing almost every corner of finance, pushing government much more deeply into private markets and partially rolling back a quarter-century of liberalisation. Eye-catching though the 85-page "white paper" is, it might have been bolder. It merely sounds the opening salvo in a battle that could stretch into next year, because much of the plan requires approval in Congress, where jurisdictional and ideological clashes beckon.
In a speech at the White House yesterday, President Barack Obama outlined what he envisions for future regulation of the financial system. He called his plan "a new foundation for sustained economic growth . . . a transformation on a scale not seen since the reforms that followed the Great Depression." Indeed it is.
His plan, if adopted, will fundamentally change the nature of our financial system and economy. The underlying concerns and assumptions are clear, and they are made clearer by considering other ways that his administration has dealt with the consequences of competition -- particularly the faux bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler and the impending change in antitrust policy. Although the president said in his speech that he supports free markets, these initiatives confirm that the administration fears the "creative destruction" that free markets produce, preferring stability over innovation, competition and change.
Sign up to receive our free newsletters