Real Time Thoughts on Meet the Press (April 25, 2010)

Today’s talk on Meet the Press is about financial regulations reform–as Obama would have it, Wall Street reform–and immigration.

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) are representing their joint effort to write up language that is amenable to sustainable regulation of Wall Street moves.  Consumer protection is also an important part of this bill.

The Senate is getting close to finishing up the bill.  Something should be up and around by Monday.  The statistics suggest that the Senate has to do something to force reform onto Wall Street.  This move has the benefit of being popular with voters.

(Richard Shelby’s shirking on the language is political gamesmanship.  It is not credible that the GOP would stand against a policy move that vast majority of Americans including Tea-Partyers would support.)

Its serendipitous (or more) that Goldman emails between Lloyd Blankfein to others only confirm that Wall Street reforms are so popular and so necessary–so think voters–that reform will go through.

(David Gregory is surely right that the financial industry has put in a treasure trove into the campaigns of President Obama and Sen. Dodd and Sen. Shelby.  And to that, the two senators are dissembling.)

The two senators support that “Too Big to Fail” will be no longer be viable.  And consumers will be protected when firms fail.

David Gregory is pushing his two guests on whether tax payers are still on the hook when firms fail.  Shelby is taking a strong line that that cannot go through in the an iteration of the bill that might pass.

Its quite interesting that Richard Shelby is so forthright, so forthcoming with Wall Street regulation, though he is not yet a yes vote on the bill.  Note  that he is a co-sponsor of the legislation. Dodd is saying that it is entirely the case that there will be economic  and financial collapses down the road, but it is now important that the government be able to deal with that collapse.

David Gregory is pushing his guests on the admission that all this bill does is that it makes it easier for a firm to collapse without taking those any one sector of the financial industry.  This does nothing to actually make it less likely that a firm might take up too much risk, though is language that mitigates systemic risks.  Let’s say that much of this mitigation stems from language in the bill that requires hedge funds, for instance, to register their trades with the federal government.

Next up, we’re talking about Arizona’s new law that essentially allows police officers to racially profile individuals who are deemed, upon a glance, to be illegal immigrants.

Michelle Norrris, David Brooks, Erin Burnett, and Evan Thomas constitute the round table.

David Brooks is saying rightly, I think, that though the AZ law is bad, its impact on the Democratic Party is perverse.  Why?  Because the administration is moving quickly, rashly perhaps, to move against the AZ law by pushing through federal reforms in immigration law.

The law is polarizing, so agree the round table, but the question is: when does the law get struck down and what will be the impact of this law on federal reform on immigration.  Secondly, what will be the impact of immigration reform on health care reform.  Making these so-called illegal immigrants citizens is tantamount to adding new people on the insurance rolls.

Erin Burnett’s argument against financial regulations reform is good: much of the reform is simply that the federal government will place more regulation and oversight of the financial industry without necessarily making those oversight organizations smarter.  Note that Lehman and Bear Stearns were regulated.  The legislation needs to spell out how regulations will actually catch off-putting, risky behavior.

David Gregory wants the roundtable to talk about the emerging sense that government is too big and too interventionist.

For instance, Pew Research has shown that voters want to curtail government size, but also wants teh government to regulation the financial sector. (I might add that those two values, those two desires are mutually exclusive.)

~ by Faheem Haider on April 25, 2010.

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