Speaking on Wall Street at noon Monday, President Obama laid blame for the crisis and recession of 2008-09 squarely at the feet of the financial sector. The diagnosis was sound but the rest of his speech was disappointing – the administration’s draft regulatory reforms look lame, banks are fully mobilized against the only proposal with any teeth (a consumer protection agency for financial products), and the President’s call to “please don’t do it again” surely fell on deaf ears.
In fact, were any of the most relevant ears even listening? The real news from Monday was not the substance of the speech or the stony silence of the financial elite in the audience, but rather that not a single chief executive officer (CEO) of a major bank was in attendance. Continue reading