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Week of 7.24.09

Wall Street Reform and You

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The Obama Administration recently released its proposal for financial regulatory reform, but before change comes to Wall Street, a reform plan has to get through Congress with its teeth intact.

The Weekly Q
This week, David Brancaccio sits with Zanny Minton Beddoes, economics editor for The Economist magazine, to review the proposal and its ramifications for America. Beddoes encourages streamlining the regulatory system, leaving fewer but more efficient overseers. But where powerful interests are at stake, nothing is a sure bet.

"There is some good stuff in [the reform plan]. But it's a relatively modest rearranging of the financial supervisory structure ... I think it's more interior design than a whole new foundation."

Related Links

The Economist: Biography of Zanny Minton Beddoes

FinancialStablity.gov: Financial Regulatory Reform (pdf)

In the News

The Brookings Institution: What Obama's Financial Regulation Reform Announcement Means

New York Times: Obama Sought a Range of Views on Finance Rules

Reuters: Key Obama financial regulation reform proposals

U.S. News & World Report: Obama's Financial Regulation Reform: 7 Things You Need to Know

Viewer Comments

Commenter: Irene
I hope that Now continues to do investigative reporting on the economic havoc that the financial industry perpetrated on the country and the world. The financial giants along with the Federal Reserve were abetted by the politicians who were bought and irresponsible. They have not been held accountable.

I listened to Nov. 13th report that is a follow up on this subject. That is why I researched the archives for previous reports.


Commenter: Robert Reno
Shame on PBS for not challenging the propaganda of this mouthpiece for the predatory capitalists who brought our entire economy to the brink of collapse, and then socialized Wall Streets ponzie scheme on the back of the American taxpayer. Why did you ask her exactly who benefited from subprime mortgages, which she actually had the stupidity of saying were good for some people. Well, they were good for those who gambled and happened to get in and out while housing prices were still rising before the fall and collapse, leaving the regular Joe who took these loans because they were deceived into thinking they were actually ok to hold indefinitely. In other words, they were good for those gamblers who used them as a investment gamble and never planned on holding them, and bad for the average American. How dare her fail to differentiate; but how expected from an economist.


Commenter: LBM
The way I understand it, you get rewarded for taking necessary risk and punished for taking unnecessary risk in the market.

What we need is to prevent the people in charge from being able to avoid getting punished for their actions when the wreak havoc on our economy.

These guys did more damage to our country than 911 did,and look how we responded to that.

Every one of us is in the market either directly or indirectly, so it touches all our lives.

I know that it was something that could have been avoided because other people warned them it could happen but they chose to ignore the warning.

What they did was not just excessive greed but immoral and unethical. They shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.


Commenter: andrew jackson
Zanny Beddoes doesn't get it. The problem lies with the 14th admendment and corporations being treated as if they were a person. Thomas George Jefferson could not have said it better. Let's follow the constitution. Abolish the monopolies and abolish all the middlemen. Abolish the investment banks. Abolish the Insurance companies. Abolish the consolidation of the corporate press. Abolish the monopolized. pharmaceutical companies. Abolish the oil companies. Abolish Wall Street. Abolish the federal reserve. Abolish the corporate lobbyists. Abolish corporations. Have accountability. Let's fine them all and the crony politicians who serve them instead of the majority of constituents they are suppose to serve.


Commenter: D. Malthus
I thought the program was magnificent! Short, sweet, and to the point! I just completed a graduate course in Banking Regulation -- and Ms Beddoes' comments provided a wonderful, point-for- point summation of the banking crisis. Well done!


Commenter: gordon hutchinson
I listened with interest to Zanny Beddoes. A consumer protection agency is clearly needed especially in the housing sector. i think an overall czar of the national economy will likely be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information and as she points out what will be the action pathway in the government heirachy; will it lead to effective oversight? But what is needed most is a commission to illuminate the causes and participants in this great economic tragedy. Only in this way will we know what reforms are most needed, ala the Pecora Commission. Only in this way will Americans be able to understand what happened and believe that the reforms are worth the political effort. Now the causes are foreign and arcane to the average American.


Commenter: Thomas George Jefferson
I have a simple solution. Let's follow the constitution. Abolish the monopolies and abolish all the middlemen. Abolish the investment banks. Abolish the Insurance companies. Abolish the consolidation of the corporate press. Abolish the monopolized. pharmaceutical companies. Abolish the oil companies. Abolish Wall Street. Abolish the federal reserve. Abolish the corporate lobbyists. Abolish corporations. Have accountability. Let's fine them all and the crony politicians who serve them instead of the majority of constituents they are suppose to serve.


Commenter: Keith Steward
Kudos for covering this topic. It's such an important topic and yet the general media is ignoring the topic. Good work. Keep bringing these important topics to the surface because mainstream media is so dumbed down.

thanks

-keith


Commenter: Jimmy Hatlo
Zanny Minton Beddoes is a fraud if she believes streamlining the banking and markets regulations/regulators and stability is possible with a house of cards that financial derivatives represents.
Start buying gold if you can raise any capital from your home, and stay away from the current markets until the regulations are once again honored by those that are supposed to be regulated by them.
There are several knowledgeable economists who oppose the rhetoric currently filling the airwaves and PBS should offer them the same opportunity to promote alternative solutions that make sense, and not give the store away.


Commenter: Ley
7/24/09

Encountering -as within a veritable surmoumntable "Armageddon" of this "Day of Reckoning" environmentally and economically (the two being long wed in a destabilizing matrimonial state sanctioned alliance, which has ramifified as far as the planetary ice caps and beyond on through the stratosphere) the need for actual regulation and a counterbalancing mechanism to offset "the mother of all moral hazards" wherein more than mom's loving slap on the wrist is in order. As occurred a few decades ago when "ma bell" overstepped moral bounds.

Allowing a monopoly to unduly subjugate and deprive millions of the constitutional realization of "happiness" is to allow the continuation of a destabilizing hampering long respected wickedness, tthat has had centuries to display its colors, now rapidly fading and suited for a welcomed national and international retirement and burial.

We've reached the next evolutionary plateau and need now have the courage to step onto it before another costly pandemic is launched and financed.


Commenter: Paul Hosman
Very impressed with Ms. Beddose's comments and knowledge.

Would like to know EXACTLY (in detail) what harm would be experienced if financial innovations were not allowed in our global financial system?

After all, it seems as though such innovations always lead to problems because the regulators can never stay ahead of such innovations and foresee the problems they pose and therefore cannot take action in a timely fashion! By their nature of being innovative, it seems we have to experience significant problems before we even recognize the potential problems - let alone come up with solutions - let alone get Congress to write laws about them - let alone get the regulators set up to regulate them.

Things move very fast these days since the introduction of computers and high speed communications. (High frequency stock trading is another one of which we have hardly become aware and yet it will probably be many years before it gets regulated. Why should a few people be able to gain its advantages over the rest of us???? Just stop it today rather than let it lead us into another major problem.) Same with all these other fancy innovations of which only a handful of people have any knowledge. Stick with the straight and narrow and known until well structured test cases on parallel systems (not in the real live system) of innovations have been tried on a small scale by the regulators that show it to be safe to open it up to the general public on a fair basis on the live system! What really do we lose by prohibiting those innovations until shown to be safe????

And if they were allowed, do you believe society would benefit to a larger extent than if they were not allowed? Or not allowed until proven safe by regulators?


Commenter: Zack White
If you're going to interview those who know how naked short selling and captured regulators aided in the financial collapse causes and have viable solutions, you need to spend time with Dr. Patrick Byrne (CEO of Overstock.com), Tom Vallarino (head of the National Investor Protection Coalition), Dave Patch (of investigatethesec.com), to name a few. Before any lasting recovery can begin, these causes must be addressed. For more, see deepcapture.com.


Commenter: Justin D
Hedge funds weren't at the root of the problem? Liars loans are good for people? This woman is a face for the big money agenda. Where's the counter point? She is poignant and educated as a perspective spokesman - for the very conglomerate industries that made the mess in the first place.


Commenter: JOHN ENGLISH
CLICK ON Zanny Minton Beddoes BIOGRAPHY ABOVE...IT'S FUNNY...SHE OBVIOUSLY WROTE HER OWN BIOGRAPHY BECAUSE ONLY PEOPLE IN THE U.K. SPELL THE WORD "GLOBALIZATION" WITH A "S". INSTEAD OF A "Z" IN HER BIOGRAPHY IT IS WRITTEN WITH "GLOBALISATION". THIS INDICATES THAT SHE WROTE HER OWN STUPID BIOGRAPHY. THIS IS UNFAIR BECAUSE IT EXCLUDES ALL THE DEVIOUS THINGS SHE REALLY DOES. SINCE SHE WRITTEN IT HERSELF, Zanny Minton Beddoes SHOULD COME CLEAN AND CALL IT AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND NOT A BIOGRAPHY. PBS AND NEEDS TO DO MORE INVESTIGATION ABOUT THE PEOPLE THEY INTERVIEW.


Commenter: andrew dianiska
unfortunately, until the economic situation is so dire that we are forced to reconsider the entire basis of how we approach wealth and capital in this nation, there will be no true substantive change.

the GS fix is in.


Commenter: John Keynes
PBS and NOW...Please do a one hour special interviewing Matt Taibbi, John R. Talbott and Michael Moore all in the same room at the same time...You would not only get one of the largest audiences...you would also informing Americans on the real truth behind the economy....


Commenter: Bruce Wayne
The snob looked like she was trying to sell herself by showing cleavage as well as wall street's wants....x-rated and unjust...doesn't PBS know most of the public caught on to their schemes?


Commenter: M. Jackson
Another wall street whore selling propaganda by means of main stream media...how low can PBS stoop?


Commenter: Kelly Bundy
Shame on PBS for showing Zanny Minton Beddoes's bra on national television...my kids watch PBS...what smut!!!she seemed like a fake wannap-be snob...she's also a pawn of the investment banks who continue to destroy are economy...my kids and I will no longer watch your show...


Commenter: Adam Smith
Zanny Minton Beddoes is a spokeswoman for investment banks...she is part of the problem not the solution...shame of PBS and the rest of main stream media to present Goldman Sachs spokespeople to push propaganda that benefits the rich while stealing from the poor...

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