It was good to hear President Obama say that reining in Wall Street's high-risk behavior is an "unfinished piece of business." It would be even better if this observation were quickly followed by action -- the kind of concrete action he can take immediately, with or without Congress's cooperation.
The president made his remarks in an interview with host Kai Ryssdal on public broadcasting's "Marketplace" program. Ryssdal was surprisingly (and effectively) confrontational at several points, as when he asked the president this question:
The Dow today sits plus or minus 17,000, right? Record highs. Banks' profits are up; the big banks are bigger than they were during the financial crisis; their appetite for risk is growing, as we've seen; and all of this is happening after Dodd-Frank -- the financial reform bill that we were told was going to prevent all these things from happening. It was going to rein in the banking system.
So how do you look at the American people and say, "You know what? 'Too big to fail' has been taken care of. What happened in 2008 is not going to happen to you again."