Our finance industry is on the attack again. The industry target now is the Volcker rule -- the proposed rule that would limit the ability of banks to trade for their own account. Leading the attack has been JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon.
I have never quite been able to understand how the decision was made to fire Richard Wagoner at GM but not Vikram Pandit at Citibank. Is running a huge bank really more complex than running a huge automobile manufacturer?
This technology-driven, partly outsourced, too-big-to-fail bureaucracies of today are more difficult to maneuver than that of yesteryear. And the frustration and angst it breeds are one reason the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements resonate with Americans.
Note to media: Please stop referring to Eliot Spitzer as the Sheriff of Wall Street. The title certainly doesn't fit now, and arguably didn't fit a decade ago when he took Wall Street to task for putting out conflicted research on stocks.
In protecting Wall Street after the 2008 crash, the executive branch violated its core constitutional duty. It is now clear that there are virtually no limits on the magnitude of the crimes that the nation's most powerful private actors can commit with impunity.
Think of Iraq as the AIG of wars -- the only difference being that the bailout there didn't involve just three payouts. More than eight years after the Bush administration invaded that country, the bailout is, unbelievably enough, still going.
The challenge is how to make our banks and our banking system stronger with the right dose of regulatory medicine. Too little will be ineffectual and too much may produce more complications than benefits.
No one is confused about the message. Wall Street got bailed out; Main Street was abandoned. The top 1% rigs the rules and pockets the rewards. And 99% get sent the bill for the party they weren't even invited to.
The time has come for an intelligent, independently-governed, public infrastructure bank, ideally partnering with real banks that see their public purpose as a profession, focused on productive lending in the real economy.
Elizabeth Warren announced that she was running against Scott Brown for a U.S. Senate seat on the eve of the anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse. For many, Lehman's bankruptcy marks the day the wheels came off the bus and the U.S. economy went over a cliff.