Presidential candidate and senator Barack Obama said something earlier this week worth noting â€” and the audience he said it to as well.
Sen. Obama stood before a sea of Wall Street executives at Nasdaq headquarters and told them to behave:
Our free market was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you can get, however you can get it. And so from time to time, we have put in place certain rules of the road to make competition fair and open and honest.
According to The New York Times, he “described this summerâ€™s subprime lending crisis as a case study of greed among mortgage lenders and the agencies that provide information about them.” He argued for protections of the middle class and additional oversight of those agencies that rate credit.
If more Americans were armed with this kind of information before they purchased risky mortgage loans, the current crisis might not have happened.
Not being an economist, it’s beyond my ken to note whether what he plans to do if elected president concerning oversight of the marketplace will be appropriate.
That he said it at all, and that he said it on their turf to Wall Street securities and investment executives, is remarkable. But what’s stunning is that Sen. Obama has raised more than $3.3 million from the securities and investment industry in the first six months of this year, second only to presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.
That’s big news in the “bite the hand that feeds you” department. Cynics might say: “Yeah, he said it, but it was wink, wink, nudge, nudge. He’s just pandering to that very middle class he says he wants to protect. All he wants is their votes.”
Perhaps. But at the moment, he’s succeeding in getting enough of my attention to keep better track of what he says and does.