Once again, President Obama completely missed the mark on the causes of and solutions to the financial crisis. In his speech this morning, the President outlined a major initiative to increase regulation of banks. He claims the financial crisis was caused by reckless speculation by greedy bankers in search of quick profits. What he fails to acknowledge is that this behavior was the direct result of the cheap credit supplied by the Federal Reserve and the moral hazard supplied by government regulations and subsidies.
In his efforts to prevent the next financial crisis, the President is focused on the symptoms rather than the disease. Therefore, his attempt to prevent future financial crises is doomed to failure, as the misguided policies that led to the last crisis are preserved while even more damaging policies are added. Current Fed policy is more reckless than before; continued subsidies to the mortgage market and the bailouts for banks are creating even bigger moral hazards; and, as a result, the economy is even more leveraged and more vulnerable to rising interest rates than ever.
The only way to prevent another financial crisis would be to reverse the fiscal and monetary policies that lead to the last crisis, and which now threaten to bring on an ever larger one. However, this Administration seems to lack the brains or the guts to do it.