On Financial Reforms, Obama Is No FDR
Proposed regulatory fixes don't actually fix much: Nocera
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2009 12:02 PM CDT
In this June 6, 1933 black-and-white file photo, President Franklin D. Roosevelt is shown signing the Wagner Unemployment Bill at the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo, File)
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(Newser) – President Obama is hardly living up to the hype on fiscal regulatory reform, and he's not matching Franklin Roosevelt, either. When FDR reformed financial regulation, he transformed the industry, cheerfully making enemies in the process. Obama has been timid by comparison, writes Joe Nocera of the New York Times: “The Obama plan is little more than an attempt to stick some new regulatory fingers into a very leaky financial dam.”

The Obama plan touches every aspect of finance but won’t change much—for instance, it does nothing to curtail the custom derivatives that created the financial crisis. It embraces the idea of “too big to fail” companies, doing nothing to break them apart or make them less risky. If Obama truly wants anything other than business as usual, this toothless stuff won’t cut it. Like Roosevelt, “he is going to have to make some bankers mad.”