At the founding conference of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, one appreciates how much the Obama administration could learn from foreign observers of the financial crisis, who are far ahead of American thinking.
To the surprise of many, Blanche Lincoln won her Arkansas Senate runoff. She did so as a modern-day William Jennings Bryan, standing up for farmers and pushing a strong Wall Street reform proposal to protect taxpayers.
At the heart of the currently proposed legislation on financial reform there is a simple premise: Key decisions about exact rules going forward must be made by regulators, not Congress. This is a mistake of breathtaking proportions.
The Wall Street reform effort enters a new phase on Thursday, as the conference committee between the House and Senate will meet to begin hashing out the differences between the House and Senate versions which have already passed.
At stake in the financial reform debate is an issue that has received far less attention than the CFPA, but is at least as important: Whether Congress will restore the authority of states to oversee national banks.
Later this week, members of both houses of Congress will meet in the final legislative push for financial reform. Much of the conference will be in public session but backroom deals are likely to determine the final outcome.
The Dodd bill will choke off innovation and wealth creation at exactly the same time the president is trying to kick start it by smothering the vitality of what needs to be a dynamic and open area of creativity.
When it comes to the fight over financial reform, Democrats are making the same mistake they did with health care: failing to put the effect reform would have on the lives of real Americans front and center.