This is a hard question to answer, and how you do depends on your view of what caused the crisis
These days, one of Republicans' chief rallying cries is to do away with excessive regulation. They say that it destroys jobs and creates uncertainty, which prevents additional hiring. Their logic makes sense: additional regulation imposes a cost, and as rules evolve firms might not be able to plan for growth. But regulation also creates jobs: the government must hire new regulators, and firms must hire more compliance staff. So on balance, will last summer's giant financial regulation bill be a net job killer or creator?
Over the past week, there both viewpoints have been argued. Let's start with the negative side. Tuesday's Wall Street Journal editorial laments:
What is the cost of overregulation? Bank of America appears to have provided part of the answer by announcing yesterday that the nation's largest bank will cut 30,000 jobs between now and 2014. CEO Brian Moynihan said the bank's plan is to slash $5 billion in annual expenses from its consumer businesses.
Mr. Moynihan didn't say this, but we will: These layoffs are part of the bill for the last two years of Washington's financial rule-writing. After loose monetary policy had combined with insane housing policy to create a financial crisis, the Democrats who ran Washington in 2009 and 2010 enacted myriad new rules that had nothing to do with easy money or housing.
In fact, Bank of America is merely the latest and most significant of the firms on Wall Street having announced layoffs since the summer began. While financial regulation isn't likely the only explanation for the need to reduce labor costs, it is almost certainly one of the motivations.