Tales from the Trail

The First Draft: should Obama embrace new structural reforms?

Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs are two guys who think President Barack Obama better embrace new structural reforms if he wants a growing economy that isn’t hard-wired to go bust.

Dodd, a Democrat fighting for his political life at home, proposed sweeping regulatory legislation this week that would curb the Federal Reserve’s bank oversight powers, strengthen consumer protection and keep a sharp eye out for systemic problems like housing or stock market bubbles.

The 1,136-page measure reflects Obama’s policies in some ways — for example, it supports the White House call for a Consumer Financial Protection Agency — but it also charts new regulatory waters.

“What we have (now) is a hodgepodge that has grown over the last 80 years, some of it dating to the 19th century and early 20th century regulatory structures,” Dodd told MSNBC.

“These agencies basically have provided a forum for financial institutions that look for a weak charter, in a sense. They shop around and get it. So we need to eliminate or change that fundamentally.”

“I think you’re really on the right track,” Sachs told Dodd in the same broadcast.

Another side of Sarah Palin: financial guru

The Financial Times, the salmon-colored authoritative newspaper that is closely read by traders and other financial types around the world, had an eye-opener for readers this morning. USA-POLITICS/PALIN

It wasn’t the front-page, four-column wide headline, “Obama’s critics pounce on falling dollar as fears grow over currency.”

It wasn’t the graphic showing a red downward line over a dollar bill.

The jolt comes at the start of the second paragraph in the top story of the day on the dollar, “Sarah Palin….”