Did Delaying FinReg Also Strengthen It?

More

Since just after Obama took office, a primary complaint among those pressing hardest for financial reform has been that the White House ceded its leverage over the banks by waiting a year and a half to tackle reform. This argument, which I touched on in my recent profile of Tim Geithner, holds that in the midst of the crisis public anger at Wall Street was so overwhelming--and politicians so fearful of running afoul of it--that truly tough reforms were feasible; but now that the crisis has abated and the anger ebbed, the opportunity has vanished and reform will consequently be weaker.

It's beginning to appear, though, that the White House delayed so long in getting to financial reform that it is actually going to benefit the reform crowd because lawmakers are nervous about the approaching midterm elections. The backroom deals that would ordinarily water down the bill are no longer possible. Reformers have leverage again. As one financial lobbyist told the Washington Post,

You've got an environment, six months before an election, where politicians are acting like politicians. They are viewing any vote as a potential campaign ad. And that might not be good for any of us.

Speak for yourself, buddy.


Jump to comments
Presented by

Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon About the Toys in Your Cereal Box

The story of an action figure and his reluctant sidekick, who trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In