Cross-posted at Blue Virginia.
It has been nearly three years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the related malfeasance of Lehman and other Wall Street firms. Hank Paulson has admitted Lehman's balance sheet was bogus. According to Robert Reich, Goldman Sacks helped Greece hide its public debt and then bet against it with credit default swaps, those risky derivatives, in the news so much in 2007-2009, to avoid risking its own capital. If you think the scenario is familiar, think AIG. By any stretch of the imagination, these overpaid and overfed hacks and flacks should have been left to suffer the consequences, stripped of their wealth and in prison. Why hasn't this happened? We have waited and waited for economic reform we can believe in, which Wall Streeters are fighting tooth and nail. We've been told that we can't have the meaningful reform we crave, that we must accept "bipartisan" compromise. The GOP slings its empty "free market" bull (bull, because they never actually mean a free market, but rather a rigged market, in practice). Then they blame an administration inheriting the effects of their party's utter lack of fiscal stewardship. Now they fight reform to fix it and assure proposed re-regulation is toothless. And of course, it's everyone's fault but their own. The faux-helpless foxes at the SEC guarded the hen house then. Even our own side has acted fairly helpless in the face of so many misdeeds. Should the administration not use the tools and methods available to it, it will deserve later scrutiny and judgment. I reserve judgment for the time being. However, as Reich observes, it turns out that we do not need "reform" to do something about it.