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Wall Street Moguls Whine About How Tough Their Lives Are With Obama Win

The bankers are whining big-time. Their favorite son lost, and their chief enemy won. Here's what needs to happen.

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For the more cynical among us, not to mention those of us named  Matt Taibbi, there may be no point in this exercise. Regulation of Wall Street in Obama’s first term was weak, and the same will probably be true in the second term. Obama failed to raise taxes on the rich in his first term, and he may fail again in his second term. Inequality grew in his first term, and might keep growing in the second term. Wall Street won’t waste much time licking its wounds, or listening to old Beatles tunes. Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is already making plans to visit Iowa in a few weeks — you can bet Wall Street’s money-men are figuring out whom to place their bets on in 2014 and 2016, and sending marching orders to their proxies in Washington.

But make no mistake: Change did happen. Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau had barely gotten started meeting its charge to protect Main Street from Wall Street, and would have seen its power sharply reduced under Romney. Now the CFPB gets a real chance to put its nose to the grindstone and carry out its mandate. Elizabeth Warren will enjoy actual power. President Obama’s leverage to end the Bush tax cuts for the rich has never been higher. Wall Street hasn’t changed and won’t change, but its favorite son, its great private equity hope, is now a footnote to history.

We can build on this.


Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. Follow him on Twitter: @koxinga21

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