Sen. Blanche Lincoln decided to Rambo Wall Street. As Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, she put forward a stunning improvement to the Senate financial reform bill over the hysterical cries of big bank lobbyists.
In a big win for American farmers, consumers and even import-reliant African nations, the Wall Street reform bill winding its way though Congress has unique provisions that apply to food and energy speculation.
Big banks might win some of the regulation battles and figure out how to protect their fee revenue in the short-term, but they're losing the war for customers. Eventually, customer-attrition will force them to change or perish.
What Summers, Dodd, and apparently the president continue to not get is that massive concentrations of wealth and power do equally massive amounts of damage over time to both a democracy and to the markets.
Data from the last 18 months show that the country's 7,600 credit unions are in fact outperforming big banks and rapidly expanding their market share. Since the start of 2009, credit unions have added more than 1.5 million new members.
The banking wars are in full scale battle mode. We are going to see a lot more of this faux populism paid for by bailed out bankers before the year is through, and progressives have to be quick to expose it.
Independent business groups that have been urging people to "buy local" are now making "bank local" an increasingly prominent part of their message, bringing new grassroots visibility to the Move Your Money movement.
There is no question that the concentrated corporate power of Wall Street is working to weaken the already disappointing financial reform bill. There is only one antidote to their power and that is our power.
What Paul Krugman and other smart economists who don't prioritize breaking up these big banks don't seem to get is that anytime anyone gets too much power, good policy and sound economic theories and formulas all get trumped.