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Federal Reserve: same old sheriff on Wall street

Federal Reserve: Same old sheriff on Wall St
Pollin: Obama plan to 'empower' the Fed won't reign in casino capitalism; finance must be democratized

Last week, Barack Obama announced that his new plan for Wall Street regulation would be hinged upon an enhanced oversight role for the Federal Reserve. Robert Pollin, while welcoming a first attempt at regulation, points out that the Fed already was tasked with bank oversight, but allowed the excess and recklessness to continue due to lack of transparency and accountability. Furthermore, while the Obama plan gives the Fed more power, it does not give one reason to expect a more transparent or accountable agency. When seen together with Treasury Secretary Geithner's plan to relieve banks of their so-called toxic assets, Pollin believes that the White House's vision for an overhauled financial system, falls horribly short.

Robert Pollin is Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He is the founding co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI). His research centers on macroeconomics, conditions for low-wage workers in the U.S. and globally, the analysis of financial markets, and the economics of building a clean-energy economy in the U.S. His books include A Measure of Fairness: The Economics of Living Wages and Minimum Wages in the US and Contours of Descent: US Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Global Austerity.

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