Obama's US Top Cop for Banks Wants Less Regulation, Echoes Republican Wall St. Pals
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But the OCC -- Dugan's agency -- currently has very broad consumer protection powers. The agency did not lack the power to avert bank abuses, it simply chose to look the other way. Putting Warren in charge of the OCC would dramatically change the debate over financial reform. The mere threat of a Warren-headed OCC would force the bank lobby to back down from some of its most outrageous demands, like torpedoing the CFPA. If Obama actually named Warren Comptroller of the Currency, bankers would immediately start feeling the heat.
Whatever Obama and Congressional Democrats do, they'll pay a monstrous political price if they don't push hard for real reform. The loopholes Dodd has left open in his current proposal are so broad that Republicans can vote against the bill and tell the public they simply wanted a better piece of legislation, while pocketing checks from the bank lobby all along. Republicans are taking a very unpopular stand with Wall Street right now. Democrats need to muster the political will to show that they stand with the rest of us.
Zach Carter is an economics editor at AlterNet. He writes a weekly blog on the economy for the Media Consortium and his work has appeared in the Nation, Mother Jones, the American Prospect and Salon.