"Regulation" is becoming less of a dirty word in Washington in the wake of the mortgage meltdown, woes on Wall Street, and scares over tainted food and toys. Many Democrats and even some Republicans want a shift from voluntary industry standards in vogue since the Reagan administration. "We're in for a potentially significant regulatory response," one economist tells the Wall Street Journal.
When Congress gets back from its recess, it is expected to start work on an overhaul of the financial regulatory system. And a House committee wants to give food and pharmaceutical regulating agencies new power after a series of huge recalls of contaminated food. Meanwhile, all three presidential candidates have shown willingness to strengthen regulation.