At some point, the war of words and early drafts of legislation are going to give way to politicians making real choices about the degree of new financial regulation in this country. The financial industry is increasingly fighting two uphill battles: defending itself from what happened and, increasingly, defending itself from defending itself. The newest outrage is centered on banks trying to make sure the regulatory pendulum doesn't swing so far the other way that we don't create a nation of banks in a catatonic state. The reports of multi-million dollar lobbying expenditures by the usual suspects have the regulatory crusaders back out on the front line and proving why some degree of legislative restraint is in order.
"They still retain an enormous amount of influence,'' said Travis Plunkett, who lobbies for the Consumer Federation of America and said he has seen firsthand the influence of large banks. "What is surprising to me is that some members of Congress are letting them get away with flimsy arguments. They are using many of the same arguments that they were using before the financial crisis'' - such as saying that new legislation would inhibit competition and consumer choice.
There are, undoubtedly, some activities that need to be curbed. But five years from now there are probably few out there who will want to recount the ways the economic recovery did not take place the way it could have while watching Populism: A Disaster Movie.
Bailed-out banks lobby hard to stave off limits [Boston Globe]