President Obama had a signficant opportunity to change the way America overcompensates persons who make their living from "money instruments." There is little doubt a change needed to be enacted. A multi-billionaire, Warren Buffett, even called for higher tax rates on his bracket.
President Obama chose Timothy Geithner to be his Treasury Secretary, Lawrence Summers to be his primary economic advisor and left Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve, while setting Paul Volcker aside, again. Geithner and Summers were Wall Street Insiders with a long history of failures and overcompensation. Bernanke should have been set aside for Volcker, who was a hard money, hard credit man during his time at the Federal Reserve, meaning he knew a nation could not borrow its way out of debt.
The White House spent a great deal of time sending mixed signals to the major players. GM was bought out and its chairman forced out of office, though he had led four hundred thousand employees who made over seven million units. The Obama belief seemed to be this; those who work in the fictional fields of CDOs and CDSs are geniuses, while hard industry leaders are morons.
Mr. Obama could have reversed the field in the major American lending institutions to the more established standards of banking, involving things like collateral. Instead, he let Tim Geithner convince (then)n Senator Chris Dodd to amend pending lending regulations to prevent any cap on compensation for top financial executives, effectively pursuing "business as usual."
Mr. Obama out-Republicanned the Republicans in the matter of financial regulation. He utterly failed the people who elected him. In addition, Mr. Obama proved his 2008 campaign slogans about "hope" and "change" were only slogans.
For all that, the GOP cannot put forward a man or woman willing to run who can beat Mr. Obama this fall. Let us hope Mr. Obama does better for the country in his second term.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.