Nothing has changed in Washington as evidenced by the Reuters article below.
The government is still run by the banking industry. What happened to the good old days when you bought a politician and he didn’t stay bought? That was the kind of corruption that worked, at least partially for the people. They took money, but sometimes they turned on their benefactors. Apparently not so much any more.
Is it because the banking industry pays so well for their support? Is it because touching these sacred cows would stir up such a mess that would destroy many politicians? Or is it just that our pols are comfortable the way things are and don’t want any changes?
The answers to these questions are unknown. What is known is that without putting something back in place comparable to the old Glass-Stegall rules, we have solved nothing.
If we ever get out of this mess, we will be right back on the road that led us here.
Washington is a disgrace!
The Volcker Rule: It’s not happening
Feb 16, 2010 14:07 EST
A few points:
1) The much-hyped Volcker Rule proposal is failing fast in the U.S. Congress. But Paul Volcker himself probably isn’t that surprised. The former Federal Reserve chairman joked he was “just a photo op” even after President Barack Obama’s public embrace of his proposal to limit bank proprietary trading. More evidence that the moment for sweeping reform has probably passed.
2) The hope for any reform at all rests with the U.S. Senate’s new negotiating tag-team of Democrat Chris Dodd, chairman of the Banking committee, and Republican freshman Bob Corker. But Corker says the Volcker Rule isn’t going to be a “major topic” for discussion. And that is probably OK with much of the committee. As one banking industry lobbyist told me, “There is just not a lot of appetite among members of the minority or the majority to add [bank trading limits]. So I just don’t think you’re going to see it.”
3) Increasingly, the Volcker Rule looks more stunt than viable solution. Though Volcker had been pushing it for months, White House advocacy surprised both the Banking committee and banking industry. A poor way to introduce serious legislation in Washington. Lame-duck Dodd, who sees reform as his legacy, hears the clock ticking. A bill not passed by early summer is probably dead for the rest of this election year. His view: The Volcker Rule is a sudden and unwelcome complication.
4) Cynics saw it as a populist, knee-jerk response to the loss of a Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat held by Democrats for more than a half century. Even some Volcker Rule advocates admitted the plan didn’t directly address the regulatory failures that contributed to America’s financial meltdown. And although the proposal was introduced in January with great fanfare by Obama – Volcker standing prominently at his side – Senate Democrats say the creation of a new consumer finance regulator is actually the issue the White House is spending political capital on.
5) It is a reality that highlights the Obama administration’s scant interest in more extreme measures to limit the size of the banking sector or its activities. And if Volcker did harbor any small doubts about that, he shouldn’t any more.