NPR logo Obama Financial Overhaul Will Underwhelm: Expert

Obama Financial Overhaul Will Underwhelm: Expert

President Barack Obama is expected to unveil next week his proposal to overhaul the nation's financial oversight. But Simon Johnson, an economic professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-founder of the popular Baseline Scenario blog, doesn't expect anything resembling sweeping changes.

He said as much in a Q and A with NPR's Liz Halloran, Johnson, former International Monetary Fund chief economist.

I don't think real change will come this year — my expectation is that most of the "reforms" will be technocratic tweaking with not real content. But the debate is now started and the banks are being watched more closely by civil society and outside experts.

Johnson has been very critical of the Obama Administration for caving in to financial interests and he continues his criticism:

The real news is that the administration does not want to take on these financial lobbies. Why exactly they are ducking any confrontation is open to debate — particularly as these same lobbies helped get us into the crisis, for example, by opposing regulation of derivatives.