POLITICS

Wall Street Follies: The Next Act

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It certainly sounded good.

Hoping, perhaps, to persuade a dubious public that curbing reckless business practices is indeed a Washington priority, the Obama administration and Congress produced a hat trick of financial reforms last week. The outlines of a consumer financial protection agency emerged from the House Financial Services Committee. The House Agriculture Committee spelled out ways to regulate risky derivatives trading, and the United States Treasury's compensation czar announced his plan to rein in runaway executive pay at seven companies that, in total, have received hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer help within the past year.

Not to be outdone, the Federal Reserve announced plans late Thursday to review pay practices at the nation's largest banks. It all left the question, would it make Wall Street safe for America?

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