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Sex and Money: Are Women Regulators Different?

It is hard not to notice that two of the regulators who stand out for doing the right thing in this incredible financial mess are women.

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It remains to be seen whether the Obama administration will be prepared to seriously regulate the financial industry. President Obama did pick a woman, Mary Schapiro, to be head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, but her past associations with the financial industry make her look like one of the boys.

In the holiday spirit, perhaps we should give Schapiro and Obama the benefit of the doubt. But the reality is that the US financial industry is a cesspool. Cleaning it up must be a top priority for the Obama administration. The public must insist on a much smaller, cleaner industry and long jail sentences for the folks who brought us this economic disaster.

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

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