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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY FINANCIAL CRISIS: Not Over Yet!

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Paul Krugman, the liberal New York Times economist, seemed to agree: "Washington has done nothing to protect us from a new crisis and, in fact, has made a new crisis likely.

"There have been many reports on what Wall Street firms did, and continue to do to transfer wealth to their own coffers, but little in the way of a criminal investigation, as if it is all above rigorous scrutiny."

Many of the biggest banks are back in the business of handing out giant bonuses and record compensation packages. Even as a lot has changed, a great deal remains the same.

President Obama warned on September 22: "If we don't pass financial regulatory reform, the banks are going to go back to the same things they were doing before.

"In some ways it could be worse, because now they know that the federal government may think they're too big to fail. And so, if they're unconstrained [by stricter regulations] they could take even more risks."

There is very little to celebrate on this "anniversary", the people most in the know about finance are now wrestling with both hope and despair - hope that a turnaround will spread and fear that another, more serious downturn is possible.

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They are all, however, acutely aware that there has been no structural change or new regulation.

As Americans often say: "We're not out of the woods yet."

Danny Schechter, the "News Dissector", writes about the economy at: Mediachannel.org and made the film In Debt We Trust warning of the crisis in 2006. He is now completing a book, The Crime Of Our Time and film treating the financial crisis as a crime story. Comments to dissector@mediachannel.


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News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.

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