- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -
Let me say at the outset that I am far from enthusiastic about either of President Barack Obama’s major policy initiatives: healthcare reform and the banking reform plan announced on Thursday.
But both cases are truly momentous, because both are tests of whether America is an imperfect democracy (like all the others) where government by the people eventually works, more or less, or a totally dysfunctional oligarchy.
Each initiative involves a confrontation with powerful vested economic interests whose lobbyists will no doubt fight long and hard in public and even longer and harder behind closed doors to block the changes.
The only difference between the two cases is that, while there may always have been significant popular opposition to the healthcare reforms, the need to “do something” about Wall Street is almost universally accepted on Main Street.