Proposed financial reform doesn’t fix the problems

The problem with "Financial Reform" is what the president and Congress have so far proposed doesn't fix the problem. Instead, it makes scapegoats of the financial industry for our government's own regulatory failings — the very ones that led to the financial meltdown.

This isn't all Wall Street's fault. It's the fault of specific government policies ranging from failed bank oversight by the Fed to housing policies geared toward raising home ownership to the decision to bail out companies that made bad bets because they were"too big to fail."

As proposed the bill is a $50 billion "bailout" fund which, though the fund is supposedly paid for by Wall Street itself, it still bails out those who screw up. Moreover, the bill keeps government in the bailout game by letting the FDIC borrow as much as it needs to bail out failing financial firms if they "pose a threat to (U.S.) financial security."

What it won't do is address the central issue — the role the government played in nearly bringing down the system. Specifically, what about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have already cost us $400 billion?

That was the reason for the meltdown. Yet the president barely mentioned Fannie and Freddie in his speech. And his reform does nothing to fix them.

Benedict Frederick Jr., Pasadena

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