The Week Wall Street Became Politically Radioactive
Robert KuttnerCo-founder and co-editor of The American ProspectPosted: May 16, 2010 05:20 PM
The tide has dramatically turned in favor of financial reform. As the Dodd bill has worked its way through the Senate, many Republicans joined Democrats to approve strengthening amendments that were politically unthinkable just a few weeks ago. Several more will be considered next week, prior to final passage.
This fight is not over, either short term or long term. There are several weakening amendments as well as more toughening amendments still to come next week. The financial lobby is fiercely fighting derivatives reform, and wants to weaken the right of states to go beyond federal regulatory minimums. Nor will the cleanup be complete with this bill.
But for the first time since the meltdown began, drastic reform has serious momentum. And Republicans are usefully on the defensive, embarrassed to vote with Wall Street. The long sought grail of bipartisanship is finally with us -- and it is an emerging bipartisan consensus to cleanse the evils of high finance. more