The President took on Wall Street Thursday. Stocks plummeted, consumer activists cheered. Now we are talking.
Obama's throwdown comes hard on the heels of the special election in Massachusetts in which public outrage over the bank bailout and the state of the staggering economy played a major role. As we have already reported, Republican Scott Brown seized the Democratic stronghold by billing himself as a man of the people and using public dismay with the Wall Street bailout to his advantage on the campaign trail. On Thursday, Obama showed he got the message.
For the first time, the President's narrative directly blamed Wall Street for the crisis and proposed a major structural reform to business-as-usual. After freeing former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker from the closet he had been stuffed in at the Treasury Department, Obama brought him out to announce new measures long advocated by Volcker.