After the Great Recession

President Obama discusses how his policies on schools, energy and health care might change daily life in America.

David Leonhardt in the New York Times Magazine:

03obama-500 Are there tangible ways that Wall Street has made the average person’s life better in the way that Silicon Valley has?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that some of the democratization of finance is actually beneficial if properly regulated. So the fact that large numbers of people could participate in the equity markets in ways that they could not previously — and for much lower costs than they used to be able to participate — I think is important.

Now, the fact that we had such poor regulation means — in some of these markets, particularly around the securitized mortgages — means that the pain has been democratized as well. And that’s a problem. But I think that overall there are ways in which people have been able to participate in our stock markets and our financial markets that are potentially healthy. Again, what you have to have, though, is an updating of the regulatory regimes comparable to what we did in the 1930s, when there were rules that were put in place that gave investors a little more assurance that they knew what they were buying.

More here.

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