Obama on Financial Reform

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President Obama’s big speech on financial reform is here. After hearing it, I don’t feel so bad about being unable to make the subject fascinating. If even Obama can’t make it sound interesting, what chance do I have? Here’s the Reader’s Digest version:

First, the bill being considered in the Senate would create what we did not have before: a way to protect the financial system, the broader economy, and American taxpayers in the event that a large financial firm begins to fail….Second, reform would bring new transparency to many financial markets….Third, this plan would enact the strongest consumer financial protections ever.

So: resolution authority, derivatives clearing, and the CFPA. All good stuff. Important stuff. Better than nothing. But in the great battle between those who want to bust up the big banks and those (like me) who want to implement serious, wide ranging limits on leverage — well, guess what? We’re both losers. Structurally, Wall Street just isn’t going to change much after all this stuff is passed.

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This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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