30 December 2009 Obama Should Articulate Financial Industry Reform
This year James Kwak emerged as a prominent voice in the booming economics blogosphere as Simon Johnson‘s counterpart at the exceptional Baseline Scenario blog. This morning Kwak posted re Barack Obama:
To me, the real question is whether he simply couldn’t get more done because of Congress, and it was actually a wise strategy for him to sit in the background and let Pelosi, Reid, and Baucus (and Lieberman??!!) take the lead, or whether he could have gotten more done by pushing harder and more publicly. I have no basis to know what the right legislative strategy is for health care, which is an intensely divisive issue where more Obama might have backfired. When it comes to financial reform, however, I think he clearly has not done enough. The public overwhelmingly wants reform; they just don’t know what reform should look like, and Obama and his team haven’t done a good job of showing them what it should be. As a result, they have not capitalized on the strong anti-Wall Street sentiment, and the result has been a classic interest-group battle on Capitol Hill.
I wholeheartedly agree with Kwak here. The public needs to know what meaningful financial industry reform should look like before the issue — which is Too Big to Ignore — is ignored.