Senate Passes Financial Reform Bill

BY Jason M. Breslow  July 15, 2010 at 4:05 PM EDT

Paul Solman: The senate vote guaranteeing the adoption of the financial reform bill is either good or bad, depending on your politics. But no question it tries to address the major issues that seem to have triggered the economic crisis: feckless regulation, off-the-books borrowing, immoderate risk-taking by institutions that rightly understood themselves to be “too big to fail.”

The bill, in the typically tortuous ways of democratic legislation, seeks to make those too-big institutions smaller, to re-impose regulation and to constrain off-the-books ledgerdemain.

So what’s not to like? you might ask. In a phrase that’s had substantial oomph since the dawn of the Republic and has gained even greater currency of late: More government. That is, do civil servants really know how to regulate finance? Aren’t they likely to be overmatched? Mightn’t they simply make things worse?

To which the response from reform’s supporters is, quite simply: What would YOU suggest?