Read Reuters’ economic blogger Felix Salmon’s intriguing takeaway from the weekend’s depressing news that Repubs have rejected even Chris Dodd’s watered-down, weakened version of the financial consumer protection agency. Salmon’s prescription: the Dems should accept whatever the key Republican senators, Richard Shelby and Bob Corker, want. It won’t be that much worse than Dodd’s current “toothless” proposal is now.
Then, consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren should team up with a non-governmental organization like the Center for Responsible Lending and perform the function of a real independent consumer financial protection agency, warning people about particularly bad loans or institutions that are rip-offs, and commending good ones.
Are the Republicans really thwarting the Democrats? Or do Democrats not get anything done by design? Salon’s Glenn Greenwald tells you how and why the Democrats have perfected ineffectiveness and timidity into a high art. Read it and weep.
Meanwhile, the old dinosaur print media isn’t dead yet. New York Times’ columnist Gretchen Morgenstern has a scathing take on the naiveté of Fed chair Ben Bernanke’s takes on Goldman and their Greek default swaps. As for Bernanke’s “quaint” insight that the SEC will probably be interested in looking into the matter, Morgenstern writes: “If the past is prologue we might see a case or two emerge from the inquiry five years from now. The fact is that credit default swaps and other complex derivatives that have proved to be instruments of mass destruction still remain entrenched in our financial system three years after our financial system was almost brought to its knees.”