The President's address on financial reform was predictable. He said there was broad agreement that more regulation was needed -- though recognized there were differences on how to impose it. He talked about wanting to increase transparency. He talked about not wanting to bail out financial institutions anymore.
I'll go out on a limb and commend Obama for taking on these issues, while at the same time doubting everything he says about them. Increasing transparency is great, but I'm skeptical as to whether he will actually do the dirty work that's necessary to change the system. Not bailing out institutions would also be great, but most analysts think the legislation he is proposing would make it more likely that bailouts would happen. I wonder, though, how much better Republicans would be at enacting financial reforms. Democrats aren't the only ones taking campaign money from the big financial players.
Importantly, Obama talked about financial institutions manipulating Washington. There was a pause after he condemned the "revolving door" where I thought Obama might say, "and I'm donating all the campaign cash Goldman Sachs gave me to charity" or "I'm not letting anyone who works in my administration work in the financial sector for 5 years" or something. Alas, he just said "that's why I'm here," referring to his presence there, up on the podium. That's doesn't give me a whole lot of hope.