Monday, March 23, 2009

Patently Ridiculous Spin at the WSJ

In the same article that states that bankers acknowledge that the Bush administration looked up to and admired Wall Street, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama is looking to tamp down populist resentment against callous bankers who keep credit markets closed in order to make friends with the financial industry (note: I'm not advocating that we return to the credit bubble days that got us in this mess, but freeing up sane credit for customers and infrastructure would be nice).

What's the problem with that you say? Banks were unwilling to open credit markets under a previous administration that venerated Wall Street. Banks are unwilling to open credit markets under an administration that initially tried to take a tougher stand. The problem is that it doesn't matter whether the banks have a kinder and gentler administration or not. They're only going to pass along the bailout largess from the government when they have first satiated their own desires, and then when they are good and darn well ready to do so (unless, of course, a bigger power calls their bluff).

Now that the media and the Obama administration are in reaction formation to the banks' hard line against popular resentment, both look like they're going to soften to the bluff rather than hold a line. The chance for real reform and regulation of our broken financial system looks as remote to me now as it did under Wall Street-friendly Dubya; and today's historic rise in the stock market counts neither as reform nor regulation.

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