Off With Their Heads.
WASHINGTON, DC – At last the Obama administration seems to be contemplating a decisive move against America’s banking elite. Following the recent electoral setback in Massachusetts the proposals laid down by former Federal Reserve chairman, Paul Volcker, to reduce the market power of the banks, are being dusted off.
Until now it has been a very different story – essentially a victory for the big bankers since spring 2009, when some of the healthier ones were allowed to start paying back any funds they had drawn from the US treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. That, in turn, allowed them to escape even the very weak special conditions that had been laid down by the government relating to bonuses and remuneration.
At the critical moment of crisis and rescue – from September 2008 to early 2009 – the Bush and Obama administrations blinked. There was no serious thought of deposing the bankers, who had helped to cause the crisis, or of breaking up their banks.
We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.
To continue reading, subscribe now.
Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.
Already have an account or want to create one? Log in