If Congress is truly serious about banking reform, it needs more than just well-intentioned laws: it also needs the right people to enforce those laws, it needs to give those people the resources they require to do their job properly, and it needs to pay them decently.
Anyone who thinks we've shut the barn door on misdeeds in the financial, commodities and futures markets apparently has never heard of the latest debacle, MF Global. The clarion call that arose out of the 2008 meltdown is still pealing.
Ratings downgrades will trigger increased margin calls. This is all business as (un)usual. What isn't usual is diverting money from segregated customer accounts. It's too late to blame "sloppiness, bookkeeping, or accounting."
Amidst the current kerfuffle of Republicans and Democrats blaming each other for ever higher gas prices, focusing on issues ranging from oil company tax breaks to impediments on new drilling, the most significant item of information extant is barely focused upon.
When it comes to oil trading, not to mention speculation in the stock and other financial markets, action has largely moved to the screen, which is ruled by speculators who remain, as ever, bloodthirsty.
The Dodd-Frank Act gave the CFTC until January 2011 to set limits to curb excessive speculation in the energy markets. Lo and behold, Chairman Gensler told lawmakers the CFTC wouldn't meet the deadline "because it doesn't yet have sufficient data."