Congress' effort to reform the financial regulatory system after the economy collapsed in 2008 was based on a false premise – that regulatory laws weren't strong enough already, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer said in a speech yesterday. Regulators had power, he said, but "they just failed."
Regulators learned a lesson after the downturn, Spitzer said, but he compared it to a driver getting a speeding ticket – behavior might change for a short time before reverting back to the old way of doing things. Asked why regulators fail to take action, he said that it can be hard to stand up to powerful institutions. "The status quo is the most powerful force," he said.
Spitzer, who hosts a news analysis show on Current TV, delivered the keynote address yesterday at The National Law Journal 2012 Regulatory Summit in Washington. His speech ranged from broad theories of regulatory power to what he'd like to see Congress accomplish next year (filibuster reform).