Donald W. Riegle Jr. is a former Senator, serving as both a Democrat and a Republican. He was – for 5 years – chair of the Senate Banking Committee.
Riegle co-wrote an article today with the former CEO of AT&T Broadband and the international president of the United Steelworkers saying:
It’s almost as if the administration is opting for a rose-colored-glasses PR strategy rather than taking a hard-nose look at actual consumer and employment figures and their trends, and modifying its economic policies accordingly.
As I have repeatedly pointed out, psychologists say that – until government and business leaders prove they can behave responsibly, and until the perpetrators of financial fraud are held accountable – real trust will not be restored and the economy will not recover.
There was massive fraud between 2001 and 2007. Indeed, massive fraud is continuing today.
But Team Obama has not prosecuted any of the criminals (other than a few token bad guys, like Madoff). And the White House and Congress have not made any real changes. They haven’t put the separation between investment and depository banking (Glass-Steagall) back in place, they haven’t cracked down on naked credit default swaps or naked shorting, or done anything fundamental at all to ensure that another crash doesn’t occur. See this, this, this and this.
Papering over fraud, propping up the same old system and turning up the volume on the happy-talk PR campaign will not work.
The economy cannot recover unless those who gamed the financial system are indicted, the real consumer, employment and other core numbers are discussed, and fundamental structural changes are made to the banking, credit rating, regulatory and financial systems.